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Flyboy

video of 6 famous violins

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I liked them all except for the first Strad which to me sounded somehow off in the lower register and seemed to have a degree of hollowness at other times.

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They all sounded beautiful. But what's the point for this video? I bet the public will be more interested in modern versus classics...

Well, one of the six played was the Vieuxtemps Guarneri. No doubt folks are wondering what US$18mil sounds like compared to its brethren.

I myself have to admit the "Cathedral" Strad didn't sound too cathedral when compared to the rest of the instruments. Didn't have too much 'dimension.'

There's also a podcast interview. The interviewee said the acoustic differences amongst the instruments were more noticeable & pronounced when listening live in person as compared to the video.

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All I wanna know is, when are we going to hear more bluegrass/cajun/old-time on these Cremonese contraptions?

I also hope I never hear or see the day that these violins would be molested by the vile filth that is country music or bluegrass.

Sorry if that seems strong, but I can not stand country music of any kind. I would rather stab an ice pick into my ear.

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I also hope I never hear or see the day that these violins would be molested by the vile filth that is country music or bluegrass.

Sorry if that seems strong, but I can not stand country music of any kind. I would rather stab an ice pick into my ear.

These violins were not built for the country music and bluegrass music of this day. However, we romanticize the era during which they were built and for whom. They were built for amateur musicians that could afford these instruments and they created a demand and prestige for the makers that lives to this day. The people that played them back in the day were no Paganinis, Oistrakhs, Kreislers. They wanted to play what they heard around them, the folk music of their day. The craftsmen smartly built a mystique around their instruments that today's makers can't replicate. Who these days can have a personal life that would create a 'Red Violin' myth? Burgess and the stuffed sheep? Holmes the Priest? Carlson the Expatriate? Wallin the Wise? Zygmuntowicz the Zen Master?

My point is that no genre is superior to any, they all fill a niche. If played well and with honesty, they will fulfill a listener and a larger audience. As a very classically trained violinist, I have learned to respect any musician that works at making a need felt within heard by any audience present. There is no need for disparaging remarks toward any genre. There are plenty of mediocre classical musicians that might be held in high regard by the general public because the individuals have a great knack for marketing. There are plenty of bluegrass and country musicians that appeal to a different audience and rely on broken bow hairs and generally sell out on their original talent as well.

The original Strad and Guarneris, I think, were largely made for and played, in my opinion, by the nouveau riche of their day and only later appropriated by the musicians we respect today. I think the musicians that play different genres using a violin these days should not be dismissed so callously.

I write this as a violinist that can't play my way out of a paper bag in any other genre but classical, but have enjoyed some great listening to country and bluegrass fiddlers.

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I agree with zefir68. Anything can be played on the violin, that's why it's such a great instrument. If you don't like the music, then close your ears. You don't have to listen. Good music is not defined by the genre, but by who's playing.

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These violins were not built for the country music and bluegrass music of this day. However, we romanticize the era during which they were built and for whom. They were built for amateur musicians that could afford these instruments and they created a demand and prestige for the makers that lives to this day. The people that played them back in the day were no Paganinis, Oistrakhs, Kreislers. They wanted to play what they heard around them, the folk music of their day. The craftsmen smartly built a mystique around their instruments that today's makers can't replicate. Who these days can have a personal life that would create a 'Red Violin' myth? Burgess and the stuffed sheep? Holmes the Priest? Carlson the Expatriate? Wallin the Wise? Zygmuntowicz the Zen Master?

My point is that no genre is superior to any, they all fill a niche. If played well and with honesty, they will fulfill a listener and a larger audience. As a very classically trained violinist, I have learned to respect any musician that works at making a need felt within heard by any audience present. There is no need for disparaging remarks toward any genre. There are plenty of mediocre classical musicians that might be held in high regard by the general public because the individuals have a great knack for marketing. There are plenty of bluegrass and country musicians that appeal to a different audience and rely on broken bow hairs and generally sell out on their original talent as well.

The original Strad and Guarneris, I think, were largely made for and played, in my opinion, by the nouveau riche of their day and only later appropriated by the musicians we respect today. I think the musicians that play different genres using a violin these days should not be dismissed so callously.

I write this as a violinist that can't play my way out of a paper bag in any other genre but classical, but have enjoyed some great listening to country and bluegrass fiddlers.

Well said zefir68 and Torbjörn, good playing is good playing and crosses over the confines of genre.

On the other hand zefir68, who would even want to create another "Red Violin" myth? Yuck!!! Besides, sequels almost never live up to the original. :)

Bruce the "expatriate"

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Well said zefir68 and Torbjörn, good playing is good playing and crosses over the confines of genre.

On the other hand zefir68, who would even want to create another "Red Violin" myth? Yuck!!! Besides, sequels almost never live up to the original. :)

Bruce the "expatriate"

If it only takes some blood spills and some hair to make a very good violin, then the two I made should be really good! :)

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It's true that using the first position might seem a little bit scholar, but the good thing about music is that even though the composer wrote it one way (I don't know if the original score mentioned sulG) the interpreter can play it his/her way. I find I. Gitlis to be the perfect example for that.

Having said that in this particular piece I like the romantic shift that goes from A to F sharp on the G string.

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They all sounded beautiful. But what's the point for this video? I bet the public will be more interested in modern versus classics...

I do not know exactly why they do this comparison except that it probably is a documantation of fine violins that may contribute to their reputation. The player seem to use in ear mics, so that the recordings are likely to be bineural. I see Joseph Curtin at one point there, so he may be involved in the project. He had two sets of such mics at Oberlin this year which makes the recordings much more realistic sounding both listening to the players ears recorded music as well as those at a listeners position..

A team did recordings there of a Zygmuntowicz violin as well as of two unconventional violins made by Doug Martin. Doug is on MN. I did some Long Time average spectra of the recordings, but listening to them is the most interesting I think.

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I agree with zefir68. Anything can be played on the violin, that's why it's such a great instrument. If you don't like the music, then close your ears. You don't have to listen. Good music is not defined by the genre, but by who's playing.

I'd almost give a leg to be able to play like this:

No doubt you know it was later 'borrowed' by Copland as part of "Hoe Down" in Rodeo.

Bach Partitas (of the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin) can be considered the line dances of their day. It's no accident that Bach called certain movements Gigues (Jigs).

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I'd almost give a leg to be able to play like this:

No doubt you know it was later 'borrowed' by Copland as part of "Hoe Down" in Rodeo.

Bach Partitas (of the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin) can be considered the line dances of their day. It's no accident that Bach called certain movements Gigues (Jigs).

Thank you for the link! Had no idea that's where it came from.

Teo

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Flyboy, Anders - The more I listen to the recordings the more I find they're unreliable to judge the true character of the instruments. If you listen to some live concert recordings where the mics pointed right onto the player - when the player move away just a little, or off axis, the sound will change dramatically. When you take the venue into account, and different bows (which IMVHO contribute about 30%~50% of the tonal characteristic), same violin can sound very different. Let alone different players. Hey, we all have different soundcard and speakers! :)

On that video, we can't be sure whether the sound is from the camera, or the mic. Then, the last 3 violins were captured from the differently - 2 at the side/back of the player, one at the front/bottom of the player. We can also see the mic is so close to the player...

Of course if they have both the heard-by-player and heard-by-audiences (with various distance like 1m, 10m, 20m away) recordings that recorded at the same time, I'll be really interested. I also hope they colatorate with the player to further tweak the recorded sound so that it sounds closest to what the player heard when they play...

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Regarding the original post of the videos: Ilya Kaler is a fantastic violinist.

However, no self respecting great player will only play the first few bars of the Tchaikovsky Concerto in testing a violin. He was just probably acquiescing the video makers for this play through.

What was the purpose of this video?

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Flyboy, Anders - The more I listen to the recordings the more I find they're unreliable to judge the true character of the instruments.

Do you have access to the real ones to play or to listen to?

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Of course no. But I don't see how it's related?

Your comment on the videos is meaningless unless you do know how the instruments sound playing them or listening to them at the playing site.

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Your comment on the videos is meaningless unless you do know how the instruments sound playing them or listening to them at the playing site.

Ok, my bad choice of words. I never meant to say I played or heard them in person.

And that's not going to change the fact that recordings will not represent the true character and the sound heard in person.

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