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Mystery violinist guesses


lwl
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By the way, there's a danger in saying, "I know this isn't Violinist X, because I have him play Work Y on record before and it wasn't identical."

Remember that an artist often records the same piece multiple times throughout his career... and in some cases, I am using live recordings, so an artist that you are accustomed to hearing completely polished performances from, might not actually be turning in a perfect performance. Still, the tonal characteristics and interpretive leanings of a player should be clear (and honestly, I don't think you really "know" a player until you hear recordings from his youth to his old age).

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I'm going to delay posting answers for a while more.

By the way, the streaming part is probably going to be unavailable for a few weeks after Sunday -- DSL line's going away for a bit. But the download option should still be available (if the main site doesn't work, click on the link to the mirror, which I posted in the Identify the Violinists thread). Unavoidable surprise. Oh well.

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quote:

Originally posted by Ole Bull:

BTW, to listen to these you don't NEED a computer with speakers. Headphones will do, as long as you have a soundcard (it's unusual not to). Plug in at the back!
[/b]

frown.gif None of my computers have headphone jacks. Are they common on new laptops? Walkman-style or regular end? I may have to go computer shopping sometime soon, and I'd love to get a computer I could use headphones with...

Sorry to get off-topic!! Lydia, thanks for making these clips available -- very interesting listening!

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HINTS!

For #1, #2, #4, #6, #7, #8, and #9, the overall interpretation is going to be your main clue. The playing is characteristic of the performer in general.

For #3, listen to the tone. At least some of his direct descendents share a certain characteristic with him.

For #5 and #10, the tone is also very key, though the interpretations should provide more than a little hint.

For #11 and #12, the two violinists both play in a way that's very characteristic for them. Listen to the clean virtuosic approach of #11, and the tendency to linger on the phrase endings of #12 (this player has some typical gestures that you hear in this).

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#9, Rondo, can only be Milstein or Heifetz.

The tempo is Milstein-ish, the tone and character Heifetz like.

I would guess Heifetz. Speed is replicable, individuality isn't.

I know #2 and #8 for certain, so I'll refrain from mentioning them.

The Bazzini has me especially stumped.

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quote:

Originally posted by lwl:

I'm still waiting for HKV to take up the challenge.
smile.gif
[/b]

seems to me.....that was the whole purpose of this thread anyway. DANG that aggravating shovel keeps turning up everywhere....I must have lost more than one. Digging going on everywhere............. crazy.giftongue.gif

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This thread has two separate and distinct, but related purposes:

1. As I said on the "announcement" side of this post, I am tired of people claiming that all the moderns are not identifiable, and all the previous generation is. Now, people can put their money where their mouth is. I am *particularly* interested to hear what HKV thinks, given that he has made two claims which I think are very difficult to substantiate: that he can recognize the students of Auer, and that he can tell who has and hasn't done Kreutzer. At some point in time, dramatic assertions need to be substantiated. This, I think, is a very fair way of doing so. Sooner or later, if you keep making remarks that stretch credulity, somebody is going to call you on it. And make no mistake -- I *am* calling HKV on it. Afraid that your assertions are just hot air, HKV? You've already gotten plenty of hints on this thread -- shouldn't be that hard, now!

2. Many listeners on the Fingerboard have not had the opportunity to hear a wide range of violinists play. This is their opportunity to hear, to contrast, to compare, to see who they can identify and who they can't, and to try to hear the historical connections between players.

If anyone is experiencing technical problems downloading the clips, please post here, or email me, and I'll be glad to help. (I absolutely don't mean to accuse HKV of cowardice if he's having technical issues getting the clips!)

[This message has been edited by lwl (edited 03-13-2001).]

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Toscha guessed the modern players as well as the older ones, as a side note.

I'm satisfied with HKV's post as an admission that he can't actually back up his claims of being able to identify players and their training -- modern or not -- and I'm not going to pester him further on the subject. (Though, why not guess for fun, HKV?)

By the way, I'm curious how some of the other folks who think they generally recognize older violinists when they play, believe they're faring on this -- tough? easy?

(For the record, I don't think I could have gotten more than a half-dozen of them, personally. But then again, I've been the one arguing that identification isn't a simple matter...)

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Lydia, this project was a great contribution to the FB. You're right -- many people don't have extensive CD collections and haven't had the opportunity to hear lots of different, especially older, violinists. And even those of us who do have lots of CDs at our disposal don't always take the time to carefully compare performances (I tend to only do it for pieces I am studying, for example.) You have inspired me to try to do this more systematically so that in the future I might recognize more than a couple of violinists!

More generally, I love the idea of the FB offering more audio. Along with Lydia's "mystery violinists," I notice that a few people have begun to post their own MP3s. I hope this trend continues! I'm currently working off very low-end old computer equipment, so until I upgrade I won't be adding much to the audio fun, but I have managed to listen to a few things. (Lydia, most but not all of your first batch of clips worked fine for me with Real Player 7 and a slow connection. I haven't been back to check the clips you posted later.)

I look forward to "hearing" more here!!

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I never recognize anyone - not even myself sometimes. Oh, sometimes I do, but it is usually just a guess based on something else I've heard that person play many times.

I haven't listened to all the clips yet, Lydia but thanks for going to all this trouble - for whatever reason.

Stacy

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lwl: i'd rather not argue with someone as eloquent and controlled as yourself. i'll leave this post with the comment that your efforts here did indeed make someone look bad, at least in my eyes. i resolve to cease fretting about people that delight in things like this, take my own advice, and get a life.

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Actually, caleb, this is not about me trying to make HKV look bad. A gentleman can back down without disgrace if he admits to being wrong. Being wrong from time to time is not a character flaw! Saying, "I don't think I can do this," is not a declaration of either cowardice or lack of self-esteem. One must have the confidence to put one's theories to the test -- or the courage to admit that those theories are untrue.

This is, however, about asking those who make assertions in this forum to come up with evidence to back up those assertions. (As a side note, HKV's already put his money where his mouth is, in the playing sense, in terms of playing for people on the phone.) In this discussion forum, we argue at length about certain things that cannot be concretely proven. Other things are more concrete -- one can play or one can't play, one can identify a recording or not identify a recording, one has read a book or one hasn't read a book, one has heard a certain player or one has not, and so forth.

I am engaging in a "trial by fire" tactic in order to prove a point in an ongoing argument: the recurrent "modern violinist" discussion that we have over and over again on the Fingerboard. Often this debate is extraordinarily interesting, and so I have little desire to quash future iterations of it, but I do believe that sometimes, we have to subject theory to trial.

Is it unfair to put HKV on the spot like this? Possibly. But I don't think it's any more unfair to ask him to make these identifications, given his assertions about how much he can deduce from hearing players. I believe it's certainly not unfair given his occasional calls for others to "play for me, and I'll play for you, and we'll see..." challenges. There's a danger in issuing challenges to others, without expecting to be challenged yourself.

[This message has been edited by lwl (edited 03-13-2001).]

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Thanks again, Lydia, for all the trouble you've taken with this- for someone like me, with nowhere near your or Toscha's acquaintance with historical violin recordings (or modern ones for that matter!), this is a fascinating educational experience and one of the most interesting things I've encountered on the board. I look forward to finding out the identitities of the players!

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I can usually guess right on the old schoolers when they play on the radio.

Not always, though.

I posted something offensive here, but I deleted it because it was wrong for me to have posted it in the first place.

lwl, don't post judgments on my character. It's making YOU look bad.

[This message has been edited by HuangKaiVun (edited 03-13-2001).]

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