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Violist Marc Sabbah


thirteenthsteph
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44 minutes ago, Herman West said:

It sounds great, even though his technique is kind of distracting, both left (how often do you see a violinist / violist who looks positions his instrument like a beard and looks away from it over his shoulder?) and right (the bow is all over the place and rarely aligned with the bridge).

 

I can cope with his technique ( whatever that means ) but he's got a lot of bow control / rhythm problems which reflect in the tone. To me is very tiring to listen to - he's not musical either. I'm very probably wrong but it feels like a violinist who switched to viola and that seldom works. Stuff which goes unnoticed on violin, bites hard on viola. The viola sounds like a bigger violin, that's a very common shortcoming with violas, particularly modern ones.

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38 minutes ago, Herman West said:

I'm not so sure this violist is that great. Let's just say she's got a long way to go yet, which is only to be expected at her age.

 

Well, she's not "that great" but I'm quite sure she'll develop very nicely. She's got the fundamentals right and she understands tone emission on viola. Lots of otherwise very gifted musicians play their instrument like another instrument. She's definitely putting up a bit of a fight with that Hargrave viola but it's worth it. Violin playing bears a lot of nonsense and pretense. One needs real talent to get viola right.

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To me it feels like he is a baroque violinist playing a modern viola/bow. 

I sometimes got the  feeling he looses bow control on purpos to get a specific sound as it happens on different easy parts of similar interpretation. 

He did not hit the common way at all and not my taste but he made a lot of unconvinient own decissions, I do respect this as choices of an artist and would actually love to have a face to face disscussion with him. I am sure he would tell interesting stuff. 

That viola btw did not impress me, I agree that it sounds like a big violin. 

I think the art of viola playing is blured by all the violinist doing so. Of course another problem is that a lot of componists understood it as third violin section or some kind of semi cello.

The viola is an instrument on its own and I would never dare to say I can play it just because I can play the violin and can readthe cleff. 

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It seems he was indeed a violinist, until the age of 11, so he switched quite early. I think it's mostly his choice to sound like that, and, as I said before, it does sound more like violin playing to me as well. Very accurate comment about him playing like a baroque violinist, his site says that he gives baroque bow masterclasses. 

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52 minutes ago, Nedwardo said:

I'm not a violist, but a cellist, and I enjoyed his playing and sound very much (more than the other violists who were posted).  Might he be using gut - or mainly gut - strings?  A noticeable lack of a metallic sound.

That is weird coming from a cellist. :) Not sure, but the green winding looks like Evah Pirazzi. Could be something else. A is definitely not gut.

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I don't like his phrasing at all.  It's interesting in spots but overall it sounds almost arbitrary.  You have to think he knows how to traditionally phrase baroque music and it trying to surpass that, like ASM's Beethoven sonatas.  But I like those.  He's real listenable but I always think what would I do differently and here there's a lot.  With some players, magically there's not a single thing I'd want them to do differently.  His phrasing wouldn't be a good example for beginners to latch on to because you won't learn basic traditional things from it.

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8 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

I don't like his phrasing at all.  It's interesting in spots but overall it sounds almost arbitrary.  

That's very nicely put. To me it sounds like he's not musical. Bit OT but in the past I heard some serious music heavy-weights coming strongly against the mannerism of "baroque" by modern players. I've no expertise ( or interest ) in baroque interpretation but I very much doubt they didn't know what the benefits of a bowed instrument are. I mean, organs don't sound like that....  :lol:

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