thirteenthsteph

Gasparo 'da Salò' violas

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Instead of continuing the hijacking of a thread by a fellow violist with the same name, I thought maybe I can indulge my fascination with da Salo violas (and violas, in general) in a new thread. I just discovered Amihai Grosz who plays a 1570 Gasparo and it has got to be the greatest viola I've heard. Short demonstration:

Also, look at that wide grain. 

So... there's not much to this thread, I guess. I hope that others might post their favourite sounding (and looking violas), modern or old, to get an idea of what is out there. Looking at you, Mr Dwight, I was following your viola thread when it was being made, and still no sound clip! I'm so interested in hearing it! :D

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1 hour ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

Posting this primarily because (a) Dunham teaches at Rice in Houston; (b) I have had a chance to see the viola; and (c) the viola is featured in the Brescian makers book honchoed by Chris Reuning.

I think I posted in the other thread that before hearing Grosz's viola, the Tuttle/Dunham 'da Salo' was my favorite viola.  Or maybe second favorite.  I'm awfully fond of my viola.  Although there's something extra cool about instruments 400+ years old.

 

Thanks for posting the Berio!  Wow!

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What an all-star cast!  I got to hear Cho-Liang Lin perform on the Titian a few years ago and he simply handed it over for me to examine back in the green room.  Now that I read that, it sounds self-important.  But on the few occasions when the opportunity presents itself, it is such a thrill to hold these monster instruments in my hands and see so many things the camera never captures.

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I already posted this recently, but since the topic came up, and this is a da Salo inspired model, here's a link to it.

 

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13 hours ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

Posting this primarily because (a) Dunham teaches at Rice in Houston; (b) I have had a chance to see the viola; and (c) the viola is featured in the Brescian makers book honchoed by Chris Reuning.

Woah, lots of posts all of a sudden! Is this the Gasparo you held in a previous thread of yours? I remember ogling at it. 

Regarding the Andrea Guarneri... It sounds a lot like the Guadagnini in the other video to me. Both in the Fulton collection. Both sound amazing, but the Gasparo is quite different. I guess it's a matter of taste, alto versus tenor or something like that. 

Of course I too love to hear comparisons of violas from different makers! There was also this interesting video with several modern violas... 

Thanks for the all the videos!

 

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12 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

I think I posted in the other thread that before hearing Grosz's viola, the Tuttle/Dunham 'da Salo' was my favorite viola.  Or maybe second favorite.  I'm awfully fond of my viola.  Although there's something extra cool about instruments 400+ years old.

 

Thanks for posting the Berio!  Wow!

Well, I started posting in that thread, but then I thought I should leave it be... You like the Berio? I think my ears are not yet used to that. But I did think it was interesting, considering it was played on this particular instrument.

Wait, which one do you mean? I just noticed the Brahms is arranged by Berio as well.

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5 hours ago, Guido said:

I thought this sounds ok-ish...

The Strad... Okay, yeah, if I try to look at it objectively (if that is even possible), it sounds good. But for some reason it's not interesting to me. I am not sure why.

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9 hours ago, Don Noon said:

I already posted this recently, but since the topic came up, and this is a da Salo inspired model, here's a link to it.

 

I heard it when it was posted! It sounds great! I'd love to have one. I wonder how mine compares... But the girl is great as well.

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This has been posted before, but I guess it is fitting... 

For some reason, while they do sound really good, there is a big difference to me between them and the Gasparo. Maybe I'm conditioned to like it more... There is a... stiffness, maybe? I don't know; on the C string especially, and as a whole, they sound stiff, whereas the Gasparo sounds open and as if it is extremely easy to play... Probably talking rubbish.

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42 minutes ago, thirteenthsteph said:

Well, I started posting in that thread, but then I thought I should leave it be... You like the Berio? I think my ears are not yet used to that. But I did think it was interesting, considering it was played on this particular instrument.

Wait, which one do you mean? I just noticed the Brahms is arranged by Berio as well.

I meant the Berio Sequenza.  Did I miss a performance by Grosz of the Brahms/Berio arrangement? (I DID, he posted it 2 days ago... can't wait for the whole thing!)  I love that piece.  I think Berio did it while he was still in school, but it's super cool, regardless.  I always recommend that pianists listen to it to steal ideas.  I'm preparing the Brahms for a recital late next month!

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Stephen Fine said:

I meant the Berio Sequenza.  Did a miss a performance by Grosz of the Brahms/Berio arrangement? (I DID, posted 2 days ago... can't wait for the whole thing!)  I love that piece.  I think Berio did it while he was still in school, but it's super cool, regardless.  I always recommend that pianists listen to it to steal ideas.  I'm preparing the Brahms for a recital late next month!

 

 

Yeah, I am waiting for the full piece as well. So it's a clarinet sonata turned into a viola sonata turned into a viola concerto by a teenager? :D It's beautiful. Good luck with your recital...Will there be a video of that, too, as with the Suite? 

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41 minutes ago, thirteenthsteph said:

This has been posted before, but I guess it is fitting... 

For some reason, while they do sound really good, there is a big difference to me between them and the Gasparo. Maybe I'm conditioned to like it more... There is a... stiffness, maybe? I don't know; on the C string especially, and as a whole, they sound stiff, whereas the Gasparo sounds open and as if it is extremely easy to play... Probably talking rubbish.

Slightly tangential question, but does anyone know whether an effort was made at least to use the same strings on all violas?  I know that, like bows, strings can be a preference of the instrument.  But just curious.  Maybe that would be more of a test of the strings than of the instruments.  ;)

 

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Just now, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

Slightly tangential question, but does anyone know whether an effort was made at least to use the same strings on all violas?  I know that, like bows, strings can be a preference of the instrument.  But just curious.  Maybe that would be more of a test of the strings than of the instruments.  ;)

 

That is a good question...

Regarding the Gasparo, I am not sure at all, but I think I saw red windings (tailpiece side) on Grosz's Gasparo, so I think maybe he has Spirocore strings. I didn't see a black spiral in the red, but perhaps I missed it and it's Obligato? (Or Lenzner Supersolo gut strings, like mine! :D). The Spirocores are quite thin. Maybe that helps achieve that sound? Or not...

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On 2017-4-18 at 5:22 PM, Stephen Fine said:

Did I miss a performance by Grosz of the Brahms/Berio arrangement? (I DID, he posted it 2 days ago... can't wait for the whole thing!)  I love that piece.  I think Berio did it while he was still in school, but it's super cool, regardless.  I always recommend that pianists listen to it to steal ideas.

It's out! 

 

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8 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

So cool.  I've only heard one other recording of this in my life and it's so different.

Very interesting choices by Grosz in terms of tempos.

Can you point to the other recording? 

It is the first time I've heard it, but I have heard the sonata. It is really nice, indeed.

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