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Elliot Kempton

The Swan (Saints-Seans) - On Viola!

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Nicely done!  Nice use of vibrato - not too much (which I appreciate). :)  Good dynamic range and just the right speed!

I love the viola.  It has that deeper emotive quality that the violin lacks (the cello too of course)...however, mine is currently collecting dust...too many instruments too little time...^_^

I should go dust mine though...

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Beautiful. Magnifique! My kind of bowing. What's the instrument size hunny and I do like your loosening to tight slide into the next note. Expressive and almost right. Just remember that this is meant to falter towards the end so pianissimo then, warmest dark sweeping into the lower dark notes, less grab there. Meaning lower register needs less plummy voice, even less vibrato. Like acting, stopping almost, as an actor who is repertory and blase of his, her performance and is smug. You need to not look or sound overly confident. Then that hollow sound will stop and you can breathe normally, then bowing without breathing stops. Then you can draw on the strings allowing bow breath pauses, like taking in air, before you speak, and then! You are just about to wow you're self! Then your audience is in your power!

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I commented on this beautiful performance at violinist.com (discussion) where I first heard it. Between this and some subsequent linked Youtube OCTAVE string demonstrations I decided to string my 2nd viola with SENSICORE OCTAVE strings. I received the strings 2 days ago.

I had long doubted that a violin or viola could reasonably replicate the deeper sound of a cello but the YouTube experience convinced me. And sure enough, the problem I have encountered are (

1) the strings (especially the C string) are very thick and I had to enlarge the string hole in the peg (which is no simple task with the aluminum portion of a Wittner fine-tune peg - since the holes in these pegs do not pass through an actual diameter it is a bit tricky ),

(2) the strings are very high tension and thus might be tough for some friction pegs to hold the pitch,

(3) the strings are quite sensitive to the bow and bow technique - I thought one of my cello bows might be best for it but  was surprised toI find the tone seems best and easier to achieve with my ARCUS viola bow than any of my other viola or cello bows.

(4) the C string is the only string that does not quite come up to "cello standard" in my opinion. The others are quite good.

For me, the rest is in the future - to see if I (with 68 years of cello playing) can actually learn to read base and tenor clef on a chin instrument without stumbling too much (I do have 79 years of violin playing and 43 of on-and-off viola). 

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