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vathek

Great Performances The Riddle of Bach. Worth a look

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I saw that on TV last night.  It was fantastic, lots of biographical places I've never seen before, or not this well.  The impromptu playing was amazing.  Glad it's available like this.   Enjoyed the little geometrical analysis of that portrait too.  I think the portrait was with John Eliot Gardiner's family in England for safekeeping during Weltkrieg II.

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The program on Domenico Scarlatti last night did not disappoint.  Part travelog, part musical history, part great performance (and not just violin).  I really had not heard of Scott Yoo before this series PBS started.  A quick google turned up his name in an old Maestronet thread from 2000 on "The best violinist we've never heard of."  From HuangKaiVun:

"Has anybody heard the playing of Scott Yoo, the well-known conductor of the Metamorphosen Orchestra? When I was at Juilliard, this guy (a few years my senior) motivated me to practice (i.e. scared me to death) by playing the most difficult repertoire in the halls with a metal practice mute - and he hadn't graduated high school yet!"

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Wasn't that the episode where Yoo had his violin sound post fixed (in Cremona?) and they all agreed no one could build a great instrument anymore?

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Ha!  It wasn't in the Scarlatti program.  Maybe in the Bach?  I recall him visiting someone to have an adjustment to his violin, but must have missed the dig at new makers.   His own instrument is certainly an old beauty.  And in the Vivaldi program he shows off a loaner Strad (the Jackson-something?).  It's so nice to have those free links to all the performances.  I hope they keep them up for a while.

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I think it was the Leonora Jackson Strad - any idea about what the other violin was? I didn't see a great head-on image of it.

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I think the dig on new makers was more so a statement that Stradivarious was and is the gold standard.  Afterall, the luthier making said remarks made "new" instruments as well.  This series is a wonderful examination at culture, great composers and history.  I know Mr. Yoo and he is a wonderful musician.  I always go back and forth in my opinion whether he is a better violinist than composer.  Simply superb.

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