Sign in to follow this  
Frank Nichols

Only the good survive

Recommended Posts

20 minutes ago, Herman West said:

1. For decades Russian middle class life has been kept together by the women who did all the hard work while men drank themsleves in a stupor  -  which I guess takes some form of strength, too.

2. I wonder how Petrenko expects these neanderthal sentiments will further his career. He's conducting the Berlin Phil, not some hillbilly marching band.  The BPO employs, as any Western orchestra does, a host of excellent women players. It's also one of the most democratic orchestras, one big chamber ensemble really. This kind of crap would have pleased Karajan's BPO, perhaps, but not today's BPO.

1. Sounds familiar. :)

2. He seems to be doing just fine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasily_Petrenko

 

"""

In August 2013, comments attributed to Petrenko in a Norwegian newspaper that appeared to denigrate female conductors caused controversy,[28][29][30] including calls for his resignation from the RLPO.[31] Petrenko subsequently apologised for how his remarks were construed, and stated that his comments were in specific reference to the situation for conductors in Russia, rather than female conductors in general. He also indicated that part of the controversy was due to the fact that the interview was conducted in English, rather than Norwegian.[31] Petrenko also subsequently stated publicly:

"I'd encourage any girl to study conducting. How successful they turn out to be depends on their talent and their work, definitely not their gender."

In November 2015, Petrenko's Oslo contract was extended through 2020.

""""

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, David Burgess said:

 

AtlVcl, my own experiments have demonstrated otherwise. Not 100 percent of the time, but plenty often. It's interesting what can be revealed with access to some fake Strads or copies, but with Strad labels. And with horrible-looking instruments which sounded quite good, as long as the player couldn't see them. ;)

With all due respect to you and your widely-known  and high accomplishments, you don't exactly live in the heart of the geographical area where a serious professional, in a search for a professional tool, with a great deal of scratch in his checking account, is likely to be hanging out.

I don't doubt that a lot of people's attitudes can be influenced by a violin's looks (Christ, how many times have I chased a beautiful pair of legs only to find them attached to a stone heart?), but my argument is that a professional on the audition trail won't be fooled.  There's too much at stake to choose beauty over function.  And besides, most all violins are "fake Strads or copies".  

I think it's fair to assume that any qualified professional who can't tell one violin from another is up for years of unsuccessful auditions for a major orchestra, possibly even followed by a lifetime of disappointment.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you read the story of Garret (he is by far not my favourit solist but would propably make it through the orchestra auditions) got his Strad?

He als said he would have never parted from his Gagliano (?) if he didnt brake it. He also just looked for Strads and Guarneris, nothing else. 

I think it is very interesting how insecure even the best players are when it comes to choosing instruments and prefer to look for instruments others played succesfully before rather than taking the road to look for another one that is not famous. 

I know from myself that there is a certain type of violins (in sound and feel) I overvalue just because its like my violin from the youth I played so god damn many hours on. I am pretty positive people playing 6hours a day on the same instrument are not free from that. 

 Maxim Vengerov had tremendous problems with his selfconfidence and this can also be part in choosing an instrument. A lot of people from the top rely on what they are told, too. 

If I hear famous violinists tell me that a violin is better at a specific piece because this exact piece has been played on it 100years before I start to get critical about the instrument valuations of this person. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, AtlVcl said:

With all due respect to you and your widely-known  and high accomplishments, you don't exactly live in the heart of the geographical area where a serious professional, in a search for a professional tool, with a great deal of scratch in his checking account, is likely to be hanging out.

I think it's fair to assume that any qualified professional who can't tell one violin from another is up for years of unsuccessful auditions for a major orchestra, possibly even followed by a lifetime of disappointment.

It's not that they couldn't tell one violin from another. It's that many had difficulty telling what was a Strad, and what was a decent sounding fake Strad with a Strad label. The difficulty which very good players can have distinguishing between Strads and good-sounding moderns has also shown up in the double-blind studies.

My location? A lot of these experiments happened when I was working at the Weisshaar shop. Now? We do have some pretty good players showing up for solo appearances with the Detroit Symphony, and to perform in the University (of Michigan) Musical Society series, ya know. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, AtlVcl said:

I think it's fair to assume that any qualified professional who can't tell one violin from another is up for years of unsuccessful auditions for a major orchestra, possibly even followed by a lifetime of disappointment.

 

"Lifetime of disappointment" ? Certainly not - if you can't play, you surely can conduct. And if you can't do either.... Well, I'll stop here - it's getting too close to home. :lol: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

It's not that they couldn't tell one violin from another. It's that many had difficulty distinguishing between a Strad, and a decent sounding fake Strad with a Strad label. The difficulty distinguishing between Strads and good-sounding moderns has also shown up in the double-blind studies.

 

Yes, even the trouble with double-blind studies is that we all know that opinions are easily influenced by how well the instrument is played, even assuming the same Sibelius opening, 4 octave scales, etc.

I've told this story here before, but it seems like an appropriate time to add it again:  The instrument I play on looks like an old beat-up piece of furniture, and I thought it was pretty wildly-overpriced too (but then what does anyone know about the true "value" of an instrument?  I mean, it's not like they come with an MSRP!).  It wasn't until I played on it that I realized I had to have it, and obviously, eventually I did.  

Five years down the road when I had the money.

Even with a lifetime of experience behind me, I know that I'm influenced by beauty (Christ, how many times have I been deceived by a pair of pretty legs in a skirt?).  Most modern instruments built by respected and well-known luthiers not only sound great (depending, of course, on how well they're played), but they also look wonderful.  The same can't always be said about old Cremona stuff.

That said, if it's your opinion that a very fine modern cello can be the equal to the Piatti Strad, that's just "a bridge too far" for me.  I know there are extremely fine players totally satisfied with their modern instruments, but then I never found one that was right for me, even in the early 70's when I was able to spend a great deal of time in NY (and where I met Ken Jacobs at Wurlitzer, from whom I bought 3 instruments over the years).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, WorksAsIntended said:

Did you read the story of Garret (he is by far not my favourit solist but would propably make it through the orchestra auditions) got his Strad?

 

 

 

Actually I know no such thing, and neither do you.  The standard these days is really extraordinarily high, and a "pop" violinist, no matter how accomplished in his chosen genre, is highly unlikely to make even the first cut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, AtlVcl said:

Even with a lifetime of experience behind me, I know that I'm influenced by beauty (Christ, how many times have I been deceived by a pair of pretty legs in a skirt?).

Yeah, sometimes they turn out to be dudes. :lol:

That's something else I learned when I lived in Hollywood. Sometimes the most stunning looking women weren't women at all. :D

"Yes, even the trouble with double-blind studies is that we all know that opinions are easily influenced by how well the instrument is played, even assuming the same Sibelius opening, 4 octave scales, etc."

One of these studies was done using players with solo careers, relying on their own ability to distinguish during playing. Their overall success rate was about as good as flipping a coin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

"Yes, even the trouble with double-blind studies is that we all know that opinions are easily influenced by how well the instrument is played, even assuming the same Sibelius opening, 4 octave scales, etc."

One of these studies was done using players with solo careers, relying on their own ability to distinguish during playing. Their overall success rate was about as good as flipping a coin.

Similarly an interesting experiment with the Chicago Cello Society, maybe 15 years ago now.  I find these things interesting, but not compelling.  In the end, 98% of cellists with "solo careers" play old Italian* instruments, at least at the point where they can either afford one or acquire a benefactor.  What can I say?  My paternal side of my family were farmers from "the show me state."

but not necessarily Cremonese.  As you know so well, both Montagnana and Gofriller were Venetian, and many players prefer them to Strad...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, AtlVcl said:

Actually I know no such thing, and neither do you.  The standard these days is really extraordinarily high, and a "pop" violinist, no matter how accomplished in his chosen genre, is highly unlikely to make even the first cut.

I dont know how it was, but there is a quite long interview where he tells how he wants us to think it was at least. 

I honestly dislike his playing style very much but if you see him as a child and the more recent performances you cant just call him a pop violinist. As much hate as there is for this guy, he can play the violin better than most others. He of course is not in the top 50 of the world but also cant be mistaken for a second rate player. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

 

My location? A lot of these experiments happened when I was working at the Weisshaar shop. Now? We do have some pretty good players showing up for solo appearances with the Detroit Symphony, and to perform in the University (of Michigan) Musical Society series, ya know. ;)

Please don't make me long for Rackham Auditorium at this time of the year....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, AtlVcl said:

In the end, 98% of cellists with "solo careers" play old Italian* instruments, at least at the point where they can either afford one or acquire a benefactor.

but not necessarily Cremonese.  As you know so well, both Montagnana and Gofriller were Venetian, and many players prefer them to Strad...

Why would "old Italian" be important?  Hasn't it been shown there's nothing special about them?  I can think of several professions where the highest-paid guys use tools from just two or three manufacturers.  It isn't because those tools are better than the rest, but because they have a mystique.  And maybe those are the tools they've wanted to own their whole lives.  Splurging on your tools can also just be patting yourself on the back.  Lots of ways to explain the 98%, not just one possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

Why would "old Italian" be important?  Hasn't it been shown there's nothing special about them?  I can think of several professions where the highest-paid guys use tools from just two or three manufacturers.  It isn't because those tools are better than the rest, but because they have a mystique.  And maybe those are the tools they've wanted to own their whole lives.  Splurging on your tools can also just be patting yourself on the back.  Lots of ways to explain the 98%, not just one possibility.

The most important reason why is the advertisement factor. It's why the make of the instrument is mentioned in the program and the interviews. The vast majority of players who do not happen to play on a early eighteenth C instrument don't even mention the make of their instrument. In this way the idea is reinforced that the early instruments are the only ones worth playing on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

Why would "old Italian" be important?  Hasn't it been shown there's nothing special about them?  I can think of several professions where the highest-paid guys use tools from just two or three manufacturers.  It isn't because those tools are better than the rest, but because they have a mystique.  And maybe those are the tools they've wanted to own their whole lives.  Splurging on your tools can also just be patting yourself on the back.  Lots of ways to explain the 98%, not just one possibility.

If you intend to comment on a topic it would be helpful to you (not necessarily to anyone else) to read all the posts so that you come to class prepared to discuss the actual text.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2017 at 6:50 PM, Greg F. said:

Regarding the survival of Strads, I'd say it's astounding that something over 50% are believed to still exist (as an aside, what % of Amati's violins are thought to have survived?).  Consider that they are wood, fragile, made for a utilitarian purpose, etc.  They were never made to be hung on a wall and just looked at.  And then consider the upheavals in Europe over the past 300+ years.  

If only 50% of Stads now exist then 50% no longer exist.  If they no longer exist how do we know they existed in the first place?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

If only 50% of Stads now exist then 50% no longer exist.  If they no longer exist how do we know they existed in the first place?

 

People knowledgeable about Stradivarius' production (not me, I think the Hills studied it) have estimated that somewhere around 1100 instruments were made of which perhaps 60% have survived in one form or another.  This is, to my mind, rather remarkable.  My recollection is that knowledgeable estimates of Del Gesu survivals are even higher than that of Stradivarius.  How many 300 (or more) year old  fragile utilitarian objects have survived at similar (estimated) percentages.  I doubt there are many.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cerainly the old beautiful highly functioning things are are to be and will be cherished,,,

where as the old ugly,,, whining hard to play wretch of a thing, will fall into disuse and abuse, being battered and bruised,,cracks everywhere,,thick lines of Elmers yellow wood glue, holding it's wretched carcass together,,,,, no visible repair ever being properly done, rats teeth impressions embedded in the varnish,,,infected with the plague.

But even at this point some god could look at this wretch of a thing and discover what it is,,, then restore it to is glory, and if they know whats up,, the sound will also be restored.

And some are just rubbish,,,,rubbish when they were born and rubbish when they die,,,But I've never seen one that couldn't be turned into a usable musical instrument.

After the great war,,, all that will be left will be "The Stentor" the only one tough enough to survive,,,,,so it would be good to brush up on the tonal improvement skills,

first few years bussness should be brisk!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AtlVcl said:

If you intend to comment on a topic it would be helpful to you (not necessarily to anyone else) to read all the posts so that you come to class prepared to discuss the actual text.

I can't stand to read all the posts, especially yours.  It would be helpful to you to respond instead of evading to shield a pet belief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Greg F. said:

People knowledgeable about Stradivarius' production (not me, I think the Hills studied it) have estimated that somewhere around 1100 instruments were made of which perhaps 60% have survived in one form or another.  This is, to my mind, rather remarkable.  My recollection is that knowledgeable estimates of Del Gesu survivals are even higher than that of Stradivarius.  How many 300 (or more) year old  fragile utilitarian objects have survived at similar (estimated) percentages.  I doubt there are many.

I took a lot of thinking about Rodger Hargraves posium discussion on  the annual meeting of German luthiers. He showed some letters from Stradivarius that show, he was very busy as a buissinesman too. Also he stated the fact that there are close to no violins from other makers around Stradivarius we know today. 

The theory that a lot of those genui Stradivarius violins might in fact be at least partial by those sourunding makers, sold by Stradivarius is intetesting to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^I read the same thing and it's interesting to me, too.  Where are all the other Cremona makers contemporary to Strad?  Put out to rot because they were gawdawful?  Somewhere on this site, I would never be able to find it now, was an animated gif someone created of a bunch of f-holes by "Stradivari" overlaid on top of one another.  They are very different from each other in a way you don't see looking through still photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bill Merkel said:

^I read the same thing and it's interesting to me, too.  Where are all the other Cremona makers contemporary to Strad?  Put out to rot because they were gawdawful?  Somewhere on this site, I would never be able to find it now, was an animated gif someone created of a bunch of f-holes by "Stradivari" overlaid on top of one another.  They are very different from each other in a way you don't see looking through still photos.

One theory is that after three generations of violin making, the market was saturated enough with existing violins, that by Stradivari's time,  demand for more new violins was way down. Stradivari was a good enough maker and a good enough businessman to still "make it", but other people trained in making found it more viable to do other things to make a living. And indeed, high-end making took a rather long pause after Stradivari. There was Guarneri, but he didn't make very many (was probably mostly making a living at something else), and his making generally looks more hurried and less meticulous, as if the market would no longer support the level of precision and care of Stradivari and the Amatis.

Overlays of many of my ff holes would have them looking quite different too, though no one else has ever been involved in cutting them. Why? While I use a template to initially lay them out and draw an outline, the final shaping is mostly by eye (except for my early work). They may look quite similar, but superimposing them would show large variances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A totally valid theory. Having others make first steps like a very raw carving seems reasonable for Stradivari too, from my personal modern perspective. Esp if those other makers could not easily make a living for themselves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, WorksAsIntended said:

A totally valid theory. Having others make first steps like a very raw carving seems reasonable for Stradivari too, from my personal modern perspective. Esp if those other makers could not easily make a living for themselves. 

Could be. Of course, Stradivari also had between one and three sons working there (depending on the time period), so there may have been no incentive to employ outside makers, versus having plenty of work for family members.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

Where are all the other Cremona makers contemporary to Strad?

Speaking of "Only the good survive..."

Nicolò Amati was apparently the only violin maker in Cremona to survive the famine and plague that laid waste to the city around 1630. So there may not have been many other violin makers in the city during Stradivarius' time (1644–1737), and demand might have been lower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.