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Frank Nichols

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11 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Well, call me old-fashioned or closed-minded, but I definitely have a preference regarding which gender I'd rather cuddle with. ;)

(At least so far) :lol:

David, I don't think anybody should care about which gender you prefer to cuddle with. :) 

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45 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Some people are incapable of putting aside their own openly-stated prejudgements, stereotypes, and generalizations about women to even begin to recognize that those same prejudices, stereotypes, and generalizations are what are keeping equally-or-better-qualified women from having the same opportunities in their chosen fields as men.

 

 

 

Very true - well said. And some of those people are women. :lol:   It starts with the old "What do you wish it to be - boy or girl ?" :lol:

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18 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

David, I don't think anybody should care about which gender you prefer to cuddle with. :) 

Whew! I I was worried that my car might get vandalized or somethin', if I "came out" as being heterosexual. :)

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13 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Whew! I I was worried that my car might get vandalized or somethin', if I "came out" as being heterosexual. :)

That won't happen. But they'll make you feel guilty for it. :)

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3 hours ago, Herman West said:

I know. I guess I did not say clearly enough that first the orchestras need to be equal opportunity, since woman conductors would not have a chance in front of orchestras where only the harp and flute are female.

I'm surprised at the passion the idea of female conductors evokes in 2017

In many years of closely watching candidates for "assistant conductor" I've never witnessed a woman.  If they can't get their foot on the ladder at an entry level, you're not going to see them succeed.

That said, one of the most highly-paid American conductors is a woman, and she makes a great deal of money [probably even more than David].  She's OK musically and technically, but I think the path to her success was surely greased by the fact she has the ability to quickly build remarkable rapport with an audience. 

This whole argument reminds me of the issue of blacks in symphony orchestras.  We typically listen to 130-140 players for one cello opening.  The first round is blind so obviously I don't know any identities.  After the first round, everyone is visible, including the committee.  I literally don't remember the last time I saw a black cellist in audition.  We had a player back in the 70's, but he left for the Boston SO decades ago.

My point, and I do have one, is that you have to have qualified candidates in the pipeline before you'll start to see them in prominent positions, whether as player or conductor.

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3 minutes ago, AtlVcl said:

In many years of closely watching candidates for "assistant conductor" I've never witnessed a woman.  If they can't get their foot on the ladder at an entry level, you're not going to see them succeed.

That said, one of the most highly-paid American conductors is a woman, and she makes a great deal of money [probably even more than David].  She's OK musically, but I think the path to her success was surely greased by the fact she has remarkable rapport with an audience. 

This whole argument reminds me of the issue of blacks in symphony orchestras.  We typically listen to 130-140 players for one cello opening.  The first round is blind so obviously I don't know any identities.  After the first round, everyone is visible, including the committee.  The last time we had a black cellist was back in the 70's, and he's been in the Boston SO for decades.

My point, and I do have one, is that you have to have qualified candidates in the pipeline before you'll start to see them in prominent positions, whether as player or conductor.

Larry, you're wasting good keyboard. The intent of the social warrior is not to reasonably and intelligently discuss an issue, it's to make you feel guilty for having legs. 

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19 minutes ago, AtlVcl said:

 

That said, one of the most highly-paid American conductors is a woman, and she makes a great deal of money [probably even more than David]. 

Geez, what wouldn't I give to be a conductor, or a tenured symphony player! It wouldn't be so much about the money, more about the rabid groupies. ;)

Youz guys have even taken to locking your stage doors, now, haven't you?

 

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53 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Whew! I I was worried that my car might get vandalized or somethin', if I "came out" as being heterosexual. :)

Perhaps whether or not your car would get vandalized might depend on "what" you were and who you were with before you "came out." :D

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56 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Geez, what wouldn't I give to be a conductor, or a tenured symphony player! It wouldn't be so much about the money, more about the rabid groupies. ;)

"When someone says it's not the money but the principle, it's the money!" - H.L. Mencken

Quote

Youz guys have even taken to locking your stage doors, now, haven't you?

Years ago we were forced, for economic reasons, to lock the stage doors.  Now even groupies have to stand in line at the box office with the hoi polloi and pay admission.

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4 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Some people are incapable of putting aside their own openly-stated prejudgements, stereotypes, and generalizations about women to even begin to recognize that those same prejudices, stereotypes, and generalizations are what are keeping equally-or-better-qualified women from having the same opportunities in their chosen fields as men.

 

 

 

:D - wish I had a thumbs up for this!

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On 8/30/2017 at 6:58 AM, David Burgess said:

 

On 8/30/2017 at 6:58 AM, David Burgess said:

Have you played them all?

Of course this is a point well taken, and if you have remembered anything I have written you will recall that I have on more than one occasion stated that I'm not at all well versed on what has been done in the last 15 years or so.  If things have changed that much, wonderful, but I'll have to see, hear, and play one of these urban myths to believe it. 

I played 30 or so Strads and not one was a BAD violin;  and perhaps 10 were remarkable, and several super.  And I played (let's round it down) 100 modern instruments by makers considered the best, and not one of them is as good as the 13 or so fine Strads, why should I believe that ANY modern maker is creating truly great violins?  You'd think that in a lifetime of playing thousands of violins I would find one or two as good as a Strad or dG.  But I didn't.  Luck?  In short, as far as has been proven to me, no one does more than talk generalities as if they have actually played one of these violins, but they never have shown even a recording from Y-Tube that sounds all that good to me.  

Please remember what the argument here is:  That some modern makers are making violins as good or BETTER than the BEST old master instruments.  I haven't seen "as good" much less "better."  Better than is a tall order when we discuss Strad and del Gesu, and we should be conservative before we start giving out unwarranted accolades. I don't see it as helpful when people start spouting certain things as if they were gospel.  It's a fair enough point to dispel myths about Stradivari, but we shouldn't supplant those myths with our own misguided ones.

—MO

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7 hours ago, Will L said:

Please remember what the argument here is:  That some modern makers are making violins as good or BETTER than the BEST old master instruments.

Perhaps you're thinking of a different thread? I don't recall seeing that claim in this one. You're welcome to point it out to me though, because it's not impossible that I could have missed it somewhere among the 136 posts so far. A claim that a violin from either group is the overall best would be very difficult to substantiate, since no one has ever gathered together every violin in both categories.

Regarding your own (extensive?) playing of Strads and moderns: How much of this was conducted "blind", or "double-blind"? Or is it your belief that this doesn't matter, or that you happen to have immunity to such influences?

 

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44 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Perhaps you're thinking of a different thread? I don't recall seeing that claim in this one. You're welcome to point it out to me though, because it's not impossible that I could have missed it somewhere among the 136 posts so far. A claim that a violin from either group is the overall best would be very difficult to substantiate, since no one has ever gathered together every violin in both categories.

1. Regarding your own (extensive?) playing of Strads and moderns: How much of this was conducted "blind", or "double-blind"? Or is it your belief that this doesn't matter, or that you happen to have immunity to such influences?

Will also wrote:

  "And I played (let's round it down) 100 modern instruments by makers considered the best,...."

Interesting.

2.I wasn't aware that there was a group of 100 modern makers considered to be the best. Sure, I have some personal favorites, based on having seen thousands, but I wasn't able (or willing) to play or hear every one of them.

1. I don't know anybody who wouldn't WANT to find a modern instrument as good as a good Strda. Will certainly does and I'm pretty sure he's more than once put his money where his mouth is. Blind or double blind is absolutely irrelevant in this case. I know quite a few people who did the same i.e. bought modern instruments directly from modern makers. And some of those used them in concerts/recitals. There is no conspiracy. :)  

2. He's played more than one instrument from a particular maker. Come on....

 

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6 hours ago, Will L said:

I played (let's round it down) 100 modern instruments by makers considered the best, and not one of them is as good as the 13 or so fine Strads, why should I believe that ANY modern maker is creating truly great violins?  You'd think that in a lifetime of playing thousands of violins I would find one or two as good as a Strad or dG.  But I didn't.  Luck?

—MO

Will L,

I agree with your basic point that Strads are great. I don't think that a living maker has any credence in saying that they are as good as any of the old masters, because time influences instruments and our perception of them. Still it doesn't stop them from making good violins.

But here's my question: Why should it not be possible for a living human to make something as good as a Stradivari? You seem doubtful of this possibility. Also, in that regard; 100 instruments is a small sample pool to judge by.

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7 hours ago, Will L said:

Please remember what the argument here is:  That some modern makers are making violins as good or BETTER than the BEST old master instruments.  I haven't seen "as good" much less "better."  Better than is a tall order when we discuss Strad and del Gesu, and we should be conservative before we start giving out unwarranted accolades.

Will, I'm not singling you out for this, as everyone seems to be falling into the good/bad/better/best/remarkable qualitative arguments without considering whose standards are being used, or what the end usage is.

I don't want this to sound too self-promotional, but within the last year, a concert soloist was offered a pretty decent Strad to play for a concert, and tried it out against a modern instrument about 6 months old.  The soloist, conductor, and concertmaster (who owned the Strad) all agreed that the modern was "better" for the purpose of playing as a soloist against an orchestra, unamplified.  I heard them both being played at the concert, and the tonal difference was obvious... the Strad had the high end, and the modern had the power to punch through the orchestra across a broader spectrum.

With an educated guess about what Will likes, my guess is that he would enjoy the Strad more... for the tone and finesse of the Strad, and the modern wouldn't measure up.  My tastes are different; I have played only 4 Strads, and only one of them seemed suitable for me.  Yes, I could tell that they were generally different from moderns (and each other), but that doesn't mean I liked them all that much.  Another player or listener would come to a different conclusion.

The point is that using variable qualitative standards leads to pointless and endless arguments.  If instead we try to define the differences and talk about those, it might be more informative and productive, and we might find that we actually agree.

 

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9 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

[...]

I have played only 4 Strads, and only one of them seemed suitable for me.  Yes, I could tell that they were generally different from moderns (and each other), but that doesn't mean I liked them all that much.  Another player or listener would come to a different conclusion.

The point is that using variable qualitative standards leads to pointless and endless arguments.  If instead we try to define the differences and talk about those, it might be more informative and productive, and we might find that we actually agree.

 

I strongly agree on this one! Insert other media

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57 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

The point is that using variable qualitative standards leads to pointless and endless arguments.

One does not even need to invoke "variable qualitative standards:"

There are no human-made objects of utility created in the last 500 years that have not been (or could not be) reproduced or improved upon in quality and form by other human beings. There is no evidence that Strad violins are the only exception to this, or why they would be.

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35 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

One does not even need to invoke "variable qualitative standards:"

There are no human-made objects of utility created in the last 500 years that have not been (or could not be) reproduced or improved upon in quality and form by other human beings. There is no evidence that Strad violins are the only exception to this, or why they would be.

There are many. Here's one example : painting brushes.

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

 

The point is that using variable qualitative standards leads to pointless and endless arguments.  If instead we try to define the differences and talk about those, it might be more informative and productive, and we might find that we actually agree.

 

Yes indeed.  Of course, pointless and endless arguments are pretty much the whole and endless point of most internet discussions.  

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Just now, Greg F. said:

Yes indeed.  Of course, pointless and endless arguments are pretty much the whole and endless point of most internet discussions.  

Good point ! Nice to see the difference with our discussion here : nothing pointless or endless in our case.

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13 minutes ago, carl stross said:

There are many. Here's one example : painting brushes.

Human beings can make and reproduce painting brushes of the same form and of equal or better quality than have been made in the last 500 years, unless earlier brushes used natural materials from now extinct animals or plants. In which case, they could make them if the extinct natural product were available.

And if you're going to start citing objects of utility made by one human being that can't possibly be ever be reproduced by another human being, please explain why you believe this is true.

Edited by GeorgeH

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3 minutes ago, carl stross said:

Good point ! Nice to see the difference with our discussion here : nothing pointless or endless in our case.

Probably endless.  Pointless is up for debate.

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