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Linda Brava


Lydia Leong
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Posed for Playboy? Well, I guess it doesn't surprise me; some of these female violinists look very good, and I find myself picking up their CDs just because their pretty faces are on the cover. Yeah, I guess looks and talent are seldom found in the same person. What a shame.

Good Lord! I just went to the first Linda Brava fan site that popped up on Yahoo and it appears to me that she is the kind of woman that poses for Playboy and plays violin on the side, rather than a woman that plays violin and recently took some unexpected and controversial photo shoots for Playboy, shocking the music world.

In answer to your question, Lydia, I think her performances would be more interesting if:

A. you were male

B. you were watching a video performance, or you actually go to the concert

It seems that she is a mediocre violinist whose only fans are men, and men that could get the same satisfaction from her concerts with earplugs.

In short, she is a very attractive but probably not very intelligent woman that only plays violin to appear different from other women that pose for Playboy.

I could be dead wrong, having never heard a single recording of her's, or even heard OF her until now, but I believe it is possible that my statement is quite accurate nonetheless.

Interesting topic, Lydia.

[This message has been edited by Jascha (edited 07-10-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Jascha (edited 07-10-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Jascha (edited 07-10-2000).]

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Linda Brava is a cynical marketing exercise from the mid 90s. She was plucked from the second violin section of a Finnish (?) orchestra because she looked good, then dressed in skimpy outfits and sent out to make money for her management. This was not too long after the Vanessa Mae wet T-shirt controversy. I have seen publicity pictures of Brava on stage wearing not much more than a bikini. From the press reactions I saw at the time, no one ever believed she was superstar material violinistically; it was simply a blatant "sex sells" ploy to cash in quickly while a particular fad lasted in particular circles.

[This message has been edited by Meadow (edited 07-10-2000).]

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I'm not sure the Anna Kournikova comparison is a very good one. Ms. Kournikova has been ranked in the top 10 best women's tennis players in the world. I think any of us would like to be that good at what we do.

[This message has been edited by newby (edited 07-10-2000).]

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I remember Bing Crosby's saying in "White Christmas," "Everybody's got an angle."

I suppose if she beefs up interest in the violin, not much harm could be done. Maybe other people who like to take their clothes off will want to learn to play the violin, too--and then they'll go to Tower Records to buy CD's and actually come across some very good players by accident.

TR

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Okay, someone clue me in: What's so great about Linda Brava? (Other than the fact that she evidently posed for Playboy, or something along those lines.)

I listened to her new recital disc, at Tower Records, yesterday, and was thoroughly unimpressed. I was not appalled, though. If she had been appalling, the performances might at least have been interesting. Where does she come from? Why does she have a recording contract?

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No, Vanessa-Mae plays distinctively enough that she makes an impression, even if it's not always a good one. Linda Brava sounds like a highly mediocre student, bereft of even solid technical abilities. Vanessa-Mae at least has serviceable technique.

Vanessa-Mae is able to play her own arrangements with flair, and does well enough in lightweight fare like her "China Girl" album, even though she lacks a feel for the classical idiom and consequently doesn't play the traditional works well. If she'd just stop recording the traditional repertoire, she'd be fine.

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  • 3 months later...

I just heard her recording. While I was relatively umimpressed overall, she was not as terrible as some of you have stated. Her tone is pleasant enough, but monochromatic (same vibrato more or less all the time). The pacing is a bit sedate (except the Grieg sonata). The Kreisler piece had some (not enough, though) sense of understanding of the idiom.

Overall, she is a capable player, but not the soloist calibre. At least she seems versatile enough to earn living doing all kinds of non-musical things as well, according to the liner note.

Toscha

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Listening to Brava, I don't get a sense that she's really entirely in command of the instrument. There are intonation slips in the recording, for instance, and other faults that would be well within the bounds of what one could excuse in a live recital, but seem much more unforgiveable in the light of a studio recording where the performer gets multiple takes to do it right. (There's certainly nothing there that would prevent her from being a competent regional orchestra player, though -- as she was earlier in her career. But I still think I've heard better recital performances out of conservatory students.)

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Thanks to Toscha, as always, for a well-reasoned analysis of a performer's sound. It is not easy to separate the performer from the performance. Maybe we need some CD's of classical repertoire to be published anonymously for a fair review!

But let's turn it around: What if Mutter or Bell decided to perform completely nude (in an otherwise standard setting)? Would the resulting media frenzy seriously color the purely musical opinions of reviewers?

Mark_W

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Mutter caused quite a controversy when she first appeared in her strapless gowns, years ago. The press has always commented on her looks, and it is no doubt part of her superstardom in Germany. However, she was also Karajan's protege, and the rest of the world has always recognized that she would deserve to be in the top rank of contemporary soloists.

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Stacy, I'm with you 100%. Perlman looks so very kind and humorous. Definitely a warm presence his would be to wake up next to. smile.gif

Again, I sure wish our Tower Records here in Richmond would allow us to listen to classical CD's before purchasing. But, alas, they don't.

But, more to the point, I purchased a CD the other day for our faculty country/western show that will happen in April, 2001. One of the faculty members said she'd like to sing "I Hope You Dance" (or something like that) recorded by a leigh-Ann (or Lee Ann?) person. So, I bought said CD so I could study the chord structure of the song to accompany the faculty member.

Anyway: (and this is off-topic) What amazed me was when I played the CD in my computer, there were all these very, very cool options, such as watching videos of the vocalist, videos of the director, photographic essays0--things like that. Again, the techno-age caught me by surprise and delighted me.

And my point: Is this occurring in classical CD's??????? If so, wow!!! Which ones!!! I'd love to see little video clips of various soloists in concert--or read little interviews with them--or look at their photographic essays. It sure sounds like something Leila Josefowicz's producers would have done--but I no longer own her CD's so I can't check that out. (That's a long, long story of loss that I won't get into here because I've digressed too far afield already.)

Anyway, anyone out there know whether classical CD's are currently showing videos and all that jazz?

Curious,

Theresa

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Check out Deutsche Grammophon's CD-Pluscore. http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/cdpluscore/

It lets you listen to the music while the score goes past, among a number of other things.

Gil Shaham's recording of the Four Seasons (also on the DG label) includes a video clip.

Some of Silva's film score compendiums ("Warriors of the Silver Screen", etc.) come with bonus material, like background info and so forth, on the CD-ROM.

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Lydia, does this program uses its own proprietary file format? (That's what I think)

I'm still searching for a program that can put sounds uttered in a microphone on a partition. So far, I've found a singing-exercise program that only lets you sing the notes it imposes on you. The step between this and what I want is very small, yet I haven't found such a software. If this persists, I'll code my own.

-Mu0n

Update: well nevermind about my first question, I just saw it uses midi. There's nothing new here, I use Noteworthy to do the same thing all the time.

[This message has been edited by Mu0n (edited 10-14-2000).]

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