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Casey Jefferson

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From 1:57 onwards.

Despite the student played very well, but what heifetz did really set him apart from the student. You can hear some of the harmonic contents appear or disappear, not just pure volume changes.

In contrast, the student played quite monotonously, I can see he's trying to make some changes but it just sounded the same throughout.

It reminds me of the post stradofear made.

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?...st&p=461344

I strongly believe it's the player who can do that so well, but at the same time I believe the violin also gave him the possibility to do so, no?

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From 1:57 onwards.

Despite the student played very well, but what heifetz did really set him apart from the student. You can hear some of the harmonic contents appear or disappear, not just pure volume changes.

In contrast, the student played quite monotonously, I can see he's trying to make some changes but it just sounded the same throughout.

It reminds me of the post stradofear made.

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?...st&p=461344

I strongly believe it's the player who can do that so well, but at the same time I believe the violin also gave him the possibility to do so, no?

Seems bloomin' obvious to me that the world's greatest violinist with a lifetime's concert experience behind him is going to sound greater than any college student no matter which violin he is playing on. Having said that one of the features of these classes which always struck me was that when Heifetz played the volume of sound seemed to be double of the students no doubt helped by his David DG, but in the main by

his sheer talent and technique. Or maybe he was standing nearer the mic....

This excerpt from another class

features the Chausson Poeme and the student Claire Hodgkins plays extremely well. Check out around 3 mins 40 secs when Heifetz demonstrates. Claire Hodgkins went on to form the Jascha Heifetz Society
along with Sherry Gloss who has recently recorded a CD using Heifetz's Tononi, the instrument he made his Carnegie Hall debut on. They both became teaching assistants to JH.

I once attended a masterclass and somebody played a Bach movement flawlessly. The teacher asked the audience how many marks out of 10 and the general agreement was 10 out of 10. The teacher then asked, "well then, why doesn't he sound as good as Heifetz?"

Nobody could answer the question so the teacher explained. "This chap is a great player and let's say he has at his disposal 600 units of technique, and to play this piece perfectly requires 500 units of technique. Heifetz also plays this piece perfectly but he has 2000 units of technique at his disposal. There is the difference."

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I strongly believe it's the player who can do that so well, but at the same time I believe the violin also gave him the possibility to do so, no?

No doubt Heifetz could make just about any violin sound better.

That said, Guarneri did some amazing things with corpus design to allow Players more control over harmonic generation [and volume].

I think he even went with taller RibHeight for The ex-David as he had for The Cannone.

Jim

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. . . when Heifetz played the volume of sound seemed to be double of the students . . .

There could be another aspect as well. One friend told me this, and since then I've observed the same: my friend's story was that the first time he played with professionals, the volume of sound in the room was painfully more than he was used to, and much louder than he customarily played. His experience was as a student, playing by himself, in a small room, and his volume was appropriate to that, but their experience was centered on playing on stage, in a hall.

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I strongly believe it's the player who can do that so well, but at the same time I believe the violin also gave him the possibility to do so, no?

Not all violins are created equal, no.

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Having said that one of the features of these classes which always struck me was that when Heifetz played the volume of sound seemed to be double of the students no doubt helped by his David DG, but in the main by his sheer talent and technique.

He actually didn't use the David d G for teaching.

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He actually didn't use the David d G for teaching.

That's what I wondered. Is the violin in the master class films his Vuillaume perhaps? Doesn't sound like it to me.

Mind you perhaps as it was being filmed he did use his DG? Perhaps somebody will have a look and illuminate us.

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That's what I wondered. Is the violin in the master class films his Vuillaume perhaps? Doesn't sound like it to me.

Mind you perhaps as it was being filmed he did use his DG? Perhaps somebody will have a look and illuminate us.

If you watch the clips you can pretty easily see that it is not his d G.

Ayke Agus mentions in her book (for what it's worth) that he used his Seraphin copy for teaching and his Tononi for his own practice sessions.

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He actually didn't use the David d G for teaching.

The violin Heifetz is playing in these videos appears to be his Carlo Tononi of 1736. This is the violin he played in his Carnegie Hall debut in 1917. Heifetz didn't need a del Gesu to sound like Heifetz.

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Heifetz didn't need a del Gesu to sound like Heifetz.

... but I bet if he switched instruments with his student, the student would sound better and Heifetz would sound less like Heifetz. The tonal differences I hear sound like more than can be attributed to skill with the bow alone.

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... but I bet if he switched instruments with his student, the student would sound better and Heifetz would sound less like Heifetz. The tonal differences I hear sound like more than can be attributed to skill with the bow alone.

There is a lot of left hand work. The way he tosses off fast connecting passages allows him time to accentuate notes by starting one with a slight left-hand pick. And he hits the left hand fingers hard when needed.

In other words, his transients are a lot more clear. On the tapes, his "tone" is lousy, but the effect is immediate and exciting. I think these are mostly because of transients.

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There could be another aspect as well. One friend told me this, and since then I've observed the same: my friend's story was that the first time he played with professionals, the volume of sound in the room was painfully more than he was used to, and much louder than he customarily played. His experience was as a student, playing by himself, in a small room, and his volume was appropriate to that, but their experience was centered on playing on stage, in a hall.

I think solo instrument dynamics in a large concert hall are uniformly louder than in a "chamber". Probably a violin soloist playing with a piano dynamic in a hall, so it could be heard at the back of the hall, would sound quite loud in a small room. As for recordings of Heifetz I feel sure that his recital recordings, with piano accompaniment, are mic'ed or edited to overemphasize the violin at the expense of the piano, same for concerto recordings with orchestra. That seems to be a widespread recording technique even today.

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... but I bet if he switched instruments with his student, the student would sound better and Heifetz would sound less like Heifetz. The tonal differences I hear sound like more than can be attributed to skill with the bow alone.

Not so. The student, in this example, has not 1% of JH flair, temperament and imagination.

His playing on Heifetz's fiddle will not change this one iota.

When will the penny drop?

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My experience is that, if I can simplify beyond what some people might feel comfortable with, there are, broadly speaking, two types of players. One type of player is more transparent, literally, and the violin becomes the dominant aspect of the tone. It's more like you might normally think, that the player plays the violin, drawing various things out of it, things which are in the violin waiting to be utilized. That player's performance is in part a reflection of the possibilities of the violin, realized through the player's efforts. The other type imposes his own personality on the violin to the extent that the violin almost doesn't matter. Heifetz is definitely one of those, I think.

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Not so. The student, in this example, has not 1% of JH flair, temperament and imagination.

His playing on Heifetz's fiddle will not change this one iota.

When will the penny drop?

True, the student's lack of flair, temperment, and imagination will not be improved. But certainly the instrument quality could account for at least SOME of the tone... otherwise, Heifetz could play a broomstick and still sound the same.

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My experience is that, if I can simplify beyond what some people might feel comfortable with, there are, broadly speaking, two types of players. One type of player is more transparent, literally, and the violin becomes the dominant aspect of the tone. It's more like you might normally think, that the player plays the violin, drawing various things out of it, things which are in the violin waiting to be utilized. That player's performance is in part a reflection of the possibilities of the violin, realized through the player's efforts. The other type imposes his own personality on the violin to the extent that the violin almost doesn't matter. Heifetz is definitely one of those, I think.

Along these lines Gidon Kremer supposedly said that the sound he made is his, not the instrument's, and he would sound the same no matter what instrument he was playing, even a student violin. To me Kremer seems one of those players with a lot of personality, flair, temprament, whatever you want to call it. He has used good instruments, though, a Guarneri del Gesu for a long time and now a Nicolo Amati if I'm not mistaken.

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True, the student's lack of flair, temperment, and imagination will not be improved. But certainly the instrument quality could account for at least SOME of the tone... otherwise, Heifetz could play a broomstick and still sound the same.

I don't know Don. Aside from the fact that we tend to be tool-centric here, given the recording quality, room acoustics and the fact that the student was probably playing a halfway decent instrument the difference I hear is pretty much all Heifetz. As John Masters alluded to, Heifetz is doing so much more and doing it so much better that -- in comparing the two players -- the violin is almost irrelevant (given neither one being a real dog).

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There is a lot of left hand work. The way he tosses off fast connecting passages allows him time to accentuate notes by starting one with a slight left-hand pick. And he hits the left hand fingers hard when needed.

In other words, his transients are a lot more clear. On the tapes, his "tone" is lousy, but the effect is immediate and exciting. I think these are mostly because of transients.

I agree, totally.

With every point, including the lousy tone.

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My experience is that, if I can simplify beyond what some people might feel comfortable with, there are, broadly speaking, two types of players. One type of player is more transparent, literally, and the violin becomes the dominant aspect of the tone. It's more like you might normally think, that the player plays the violin, drawing various things out of it, things which are in the violin waiting to be utilized. That player's performance is in part a reflection of the possibilities of the violin, realized through the player's efforts. The other type imposes his own personality on the violin to the extent that the violin almost doesn't matter. Heifetz is definitely one of those, I think.

Absolutely. See John's post and my reply.

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True, the student's lack of flair, temperment, and imagination will not be improved. But certainly the instrument quality could account for at least SOME of the tone... otherwise, Heifetz could play a broomstick and still sound the same.

I actually believe that he could have played a broomstick and still sounded the same. Having a good instrument just made it easier, more predictable and manageable, and more fun.

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Are there people that actually believe that the quest for a great-sounding instrument is a bunch of hooey, the sound is all in the player, and the best we can do is create instruments that are "easier, more predictable and manageable, and more fun"???

Sorry, I'm not convinced. I hear plenty of differences between instruments. Heifetz playing a broomstick might be recognizable as Heifetz, but the sound could not possibly be the same. The musicianship and artistry, yes, but not the SOUND.

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Are there people that actually believe that the quest for a great-sounding instrument is a bunch of hooey, the sound is all in the player, and the best we can do is create instruments that are "easier, more predictable and manageable, and more fun"???

Sorry, I'm not convinced. I hear plenty of differences between instruments. Heifetz playing a broomstick might be recognizable as Heifetz, but the sound could not possibly be the same. The musicianship and artistry, yes, but not the SOUND.

Actually, all I was trying to say was that somebody like Heifetz will find it easier to sound like Heifetz with a decent fiddle. Nevertheless, Heifetz will sound like Heifetz.

On the other hand, a beginner will sound like a beginner on ANY instrument, and most likely in a listening test it will be very hard to hear the difference between a Strad and a Palatino played by a novice. If I had to go on the impressions of the sound of my instruments played by some prospective buyers I would have trashed them all, and have given up on this job long ago.

We don't make our instruments with beginners in mind, do we? And whom do we attempt to get to try out our masterpieces? I guess Ferrari also don't have prototypes test-driven by learner drivers.

I wouldn't make this kind of statement if I hadn't had my brains and ears thoroughly scrambled by practical experience of this nature on a regular basis.

There were links in another thread recently to Youtube recordings featuring the Cannone played by two different players. If you are/were able to identify the instrument by sound as being the same in both recordings I hand it to you.

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