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Samuel Detached

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  1. Some great things on this thread. To summarise, for me the golden rules are; 1 Be well prepared. Pencil, practice, all music in order, lights, stand, dress code, everything. 2. Tune your instrument precisely BEFORE going on the platform - use your phone app - the A will have been decided beforehand, ask the conductor if you are not sure. For certain the oboist will be using her app as well. Always tune in perfect fifths. ( If someone asks you to tune to some funny temperament just tune your A or D as required. If you’re not in absolute ‘no beats’ perfect fifths it will kill the internal reinforcement responses of your instrument.) Then the orchestra tuning is a quick check up. After this keep quiet so others can do their thing. 3. Keep quiet at all times when not actually playing. Pay attention. Music is all about listening. 4. Once you know your part listen to all the other parts, one by one. If you are touring the same repertoire this gives more opportunity. The really good ensemble players do this. 5. When you are playing, do so as if you are listening to the music (for the first time). This way it will be fresh. 6. Be competent and practice hard but don’t worry about mistakes. As Stravinsky wrote ‘it is only a mistake that truly inspires us’. [From the Harvard lectures 1942 which I recommend all music lovers read.] Audiences really don’t mind. If you do something wrong once do it right twice and the mistake will not happen again. 7 Enjoy. It is such a privilege to work with other musicians. Each has done their 10,000 hours or whatever and each is bringing a whole musical universe with them.
  2. There are more different shades of black than any other colour as a fellow student once told me in the 1980s. She went on to make a great career designing scenery for game of thrones…
  3. Occasionally there are section players especially in German orchestras with violins which look ‘black’. No doubt they are workable antique instruments. Question is how black does the client want.
  4. Most people make (and play)the violin with both hands so x 2…
  5. Maybe the court/nobility owned the instruments and the people who played them in the court orchestra were employees. A bit like now when foundations own the instruments and orchestra members are allowed to play the during tenure.
  6. This violin appears to have funky pegs. Would MN experts like to expand on this subject?
  7. The screw holes on the side of the pegbox suggest it might have has metal tuners like a guitar?
  8. Why are there so few women luthiers? Jenny Bailly … who else? Or are there many we haven’t heard of? Is making violins a ‘man thing? What did signora Stradivari do?
  9. I really enjoyed the article by Hargreaves on Testore. [ Page 1 of this post]. It shows all the subtleties of how one identifies and understands an instrument, it is like detective work. What struck me was the three dimensionality of it, how the dark winter rings were encrusted in rosin, how the f holes had changed shape over time due to creep in the arching, etc. True you cannot necessarily pick these things up from photographs, which are 2D representations of a 3D object. If you are not sure if your father’s instrument is a Testore take it to an expert who can examine it in person, and look in close detail. Brumcello did with her second cello, took it to Florian Leonhart. Which brings me to this observation, the huffiness and posturing in this post seems to be very erm <male>. I nearly bought a Jenny Bailly at auction recently just to find out what a female violin was like. Are there female luthiers out there and if not [so many] why not?
  10. So to repair/restore or not? I vote leave it as is. The state it is in is part of its history. In short: display.
  11. Retreading this topic it is interesting how members give quickly and freely their thoughts, off the cuff. I knew this violin, the date it was tabled, the date it was sold, to whom and how much and have it under my chin every morning, and had Bernard Millant’s written opinion before posting. I know what it is. My experience of maestronet is overall very positive, and am grateful for the experts to opine, show and share their experience quickly and freely. The tendency is at first to be dismissive (pace Brumcello) which given the amount of mediocre instruments around is completely understandable. But I still think G&B are, in a way, a pinnacle of engineering, if you like that kind of thing: powerful, radiant. Their lutherie, coming after Vuihhaume, their predominance over many decades, explains for example the French orchestral sound of Berlioz, the sound of Faure, Debussy, Satie etc and I hope they will be appreciated and played well for many years to come. Thanks all.
  12. Yes you are quire right Mr Swan, nearer to £20k as you say. Once again thanks for the comments.
  13. I have a great big thing from Louis Moitessier and a F.Chanot style corner-less violin made by Noclas Florentin [see viaduct violins], both 1820s. Both long pattern. They were into big [I stand to be corrected] Maggini style? violins then, presumably for the mellow tone, though they are quite difficult to play in the upper registers for obvious reasons. Good second violin material. Wolf tone is more B and C. The Chanot model, set up for me recently by an expert luthier Andreas Hudelmayer sounds great, really powerful if a bit unsubtle. He had to angle the soundpost to make it work. The Moitessier, well, I haven't found its voice yet and thinking of selling it to another hopeful. Maybe give it some viola strings and see how it goes ;-)?Both are lovely to look at. The French Revolution had something to do with it, before the restoration of the monarchy they were much more experimental with violin shapes, in line with their equally radical political attitude.
  14. A postscript to ugundte's post of May 13, proving this Senior Member correct: Tarisio in June 2021 auctioned a G&B in good condition for £15k plus 20% premium and a Gustave in rather more varnish-worn condition for £14k plus premium... Having lived with my 1892 GB for 9 months, my experience is that lower tension strings get the best out of the instrument, especially upper positions on the G string. Thank you all the various experts who have posted on this topic. It has been extremely helpful and I hope these finely crafted violins get the attention they deserve.
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