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All info related to players of stringed instruments

Dueling violins

Jascha HeifetzIn 1917, the sixteen-year-old violin prodigy Jascha Heifetz made his American debut at Carnegie Hall. Among the luminaries in attendance were fellow violinist Mischa Elman and the pianist Leopold Godowsky.


Heifetz plays Tchaikovsky

Here is a video of Heifetz playing the first movement of the Tchaikovsky concerto. He is often criticised for playing 'unmusically', but I think that is ludicrous. He was not the world's most expressive player in terms of facial expressions and body movements, but there is an intensity there that defies belief. Enjoy!


Blind Faith

What's in a label? Would a Strad sound as sweet by any other name? Blind tastings, popular in the wine world, offer a method of objective evaluation, but the string world doesn't believe in such tests. Alan Coggins wonders why.

By Alan Coggins (Published in The Strad, February 2007) 

The appreciation of fine violins is often likened to that of great wines. Both have the ability to stimulate and please our senses. Experts, connoisseurs and enthusiasts enjoy sampling and discussing their respective merits - a great Bordeaux vintage is treated with as much reverence as a golden-period Stradivari. The common wisdom is that both wines and violins improve with age. As John Townsend Trowbridge wrote

Violins ripen with age like wine?

With years a richer life begins,
The spirit mellows:
Ripe age gives tone to violins,
Wine, and good fellows.


The impossible duet

Check out this incredible 'duet' by Handel-Halvorsen performed on cello and violin . You can buy the sheet music for this here. Enjoy!



Kavakos on Del Gesù and Stradivari

This is a quote from Leonidas Kavakos from the January 2009 Strad magazine:

Image"A great instrument is one that inspires the player to different directions in their playing, but doesn't force them to certain directions. That's the problem with many instruments by 'Del Gesù', and why if I was able to have one I probably wouldn't. This isn't the same with Stadivaris, although they have their own problems. Some are too bright and don't offer you the darkness of a 'Del Gesù'. Many Sradivaris have a silvery sound that is penetrating, with beautiful harmonic overtones. I've played quite a few violins by 'Del Gesù' and I find that with few exceptions, they direct the player to a certain approach and that is something I don't like. The instrument has to able to offer freedom." 





Time to Tie a String Around That Strad

They talk about these bundles of wood and string as if they’re an extra limb, a repository of their DNA, a conduit to the very depths of their soul.
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