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Mutter-Mozart
Sheer finesse....
Topic Rating: 4.1 Topic Rating: 4.1 Topic Rating: 4.1 Topic Rating: 4.1 Topic Rating: 4.1 Topic Rating: 4.1 (16 votes) 
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bfurman
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September 10, 2014 - 11:08 pm
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WOW!  I was listening to public radio on the drive home from work today, and I heard a solo violin timbre, vibrato, and bowing performance unlike any other I've heard recorded before.  Simply magical.

The announcer finally gave the clue that the performance was by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Concerto #3 in G maj.  I have to admit to never paying much attention to solo artists, but this performance was a beautiful standout.  What else have I been missing out on?

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Uzi
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What else have I been missing out on?  

It sounds like a lot.  There have been and are a great many great solo violinists. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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bfurman
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September 11, 2014 - 8:05 pm
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I suppose a better question is what performances do you find most memorable by virtue of the fact that they enliven you down to your bones?

By analogy, a person can play rock guitar, but unless they've heard Van Halen's first album they haven't fully lived.

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DanielB
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One of the great things about being a musician is finding things that can inspire you.

Things that can make you go "Wow!" are cool.. But the things that make you pick up your instrument to see if you can catch at least a piece of that, those are the best stuff. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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MrYikes
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I long for that day, Dan.  I have heard tunes that I wanted to replicate, but I just can't do it on violin.  Sometimes I can partially get what I want on keyboard because the notes are laid out in front of me, but the violin has the notes hidden in confusing places. And, BTW, I was able to hear your tune done with a keyboard.  The sound of your piano was beautiful.  What kind is it?

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DanielB
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September 12, 2014 - 5:03 pm
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Thanks, MrYikes.

That isn't an acoustic piano, I don't have room for one even if I could afford it (sadly).

What I'm playing on is an inexpensive midi controller keyboard (less than 100$) that plugs into my computer's USB port.  They don't make the exact model anymore, but there are plenty of no frills midi controller keyboards that don't cost a lot.

The actual sound is a sample library I bought years ago of some historic grand piano (I don't recall which one, offhand).  That also wasn't expensive, I think I paid 10 or 15 bucks for the download.  These days there are free ones out there that are probably just as nice.

Editing and things like adjusting volumes was done in a piece of DAW software called Audacious.  DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software can be free on pretty much any type of computer, if you look around a bit.  That's also where I added a little reverb and eq to make it sound more like it was being played/recorded in something like a small recital hall.

It's not a big piece of pretty antique mahogany, ivory, and ebony, but it can sound nice and it was affordable.  I have samples sets or libraries for different instruments, pianos, pipe organs, etc. 

It's just one of the relatively inexpensive ways a musician can get good quality sounds and a comfortably playable keyboard, rather than having to hit the lottery or something.  LOL

Back to the point about inspiration, though.  Even if what you can get at first is just an idea of how the bow moves to get a particular sound that you hear a great player using, or it makes putting in the time for practice feel a little more like it will someday be worth the effort, it is all good.  Even just getting more of an idea how a violin can sound is good and get you picking it up to see if you can get a sound like that for even a second. 

Part of how we learn music is like how babies learn to talk.  We hear a sound and try to imitate it and try to figure out how to use it.  The longer we keep at it, the better we all get at that.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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MrYikes
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September 12, 2014 - 6:30 pm
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Thank you for your response.  You keep hitting the nail right on the head.

I listened to the movie Lone Ranger and heard a beautiful violin sound.  They just started the WT Overture but the violins had a fuzz sound around their notes (not like a guitar fuzz) it was more like hearing the note through mayonnaise.  You could not tell where a note stopped and the next note began, but the melody came through.  As I said, it was beautiful.

I had a keyboard but gave it to my granddaughter.  I now realize the mistake and need to replace it here.

I used to help lug around a 1938 b3 Hammond,,,I think the new keyboards are perfect.

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Chinafiddler
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September 17, 2014 - 5:51 am
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Hi bfurman,

 

Can I make a suggestion that you listen to some of the old boys playing Mozart No.3 or in fact any of the concertos!

Namely people like Grumiaux,Heifetz, and Milstein who play this kind of music wonderfully.

Heifetz played everything wonderfully he was unique in the world of violin playing and his like will probably never be seen again.

Mutter is good, but she pales when compared to these legendary players.

Regards

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bfurman
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September 30, 2014 - 10:58 pm
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Yes, the old boys were tremendous.  Their economy of motion was extraordinary.

Too bad the recordings of the day lacked fidelity.

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Chinafiddler
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October 1, 2014 - 4:05 am
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bfurman said 

Yes, the old boys were tremendous.  Their economy of motion was extraordinary.

Too bad the recordings of the day lacked fidelity.

 

Fortunately many of the old boys went on recording late in life when fidelity improved greatly. Also the violin (unlike other instruments) recordings from the old days tend to sound pretty good.

However if you want to here something more recent you need look no further than the recordings  of Arthur Grumiaux who was one of the best when it came to Mozart.

Yes I hold Heifetz in great esteem, but Grumiaux is his equal with Mozart.

Regards

N.B. Listen to the Heifetz recording of the Mozart No.4 in D K.218 with the New Symphony Orchestra of London conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent (1962)

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bfurman
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October 1, 2014 - 9:09 pm
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Thanks for the recommendations, Chinafiddler.  That last suggestion from Heifetz is indeed a lovely recording.  I have learned something, even though Mutter still captures my imagination.  It is remarkable to hear how each personality shines through.

I do find it somewhat distracting when solo artists push and pull the tempo.  I understand that they are, in effect, conducting, but as a listener my attention is being pulled in different directions.

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Chinafiddler
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October 2, 2014 - 7:43 pm
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Hi bfurman,

Yes I know what you mean about pushing and pulling the tempo, I think they call this, 'artistic licence!'

This is why Heifetz stands out from most of the others. He believed as his father did that an artist should pay homage to a composer adhering strictly to what the composer wrote, no passing over notes or juggling with the rhythm.

Also the artist should not put on a show of how difficult the music is by wriggling, swaying, bobbing, or grimacing!

Check out some of the old YouTube videos of him and watch him carefully.

He only moves what he needs to move, nothing more nothing less. This way you are not distracted from what is in fact the most important thing,...the music.

 

Regards

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Fiddlerman
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October 2, 2014 - 11:55 pm
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I enjoy very much watching a musician move and it doesn't distract me from the music. I'm not saying it's necessary in any way and I do indeed love Heifetz probably as much as anyone, but that doesn't take away from the great musicians who do move during their performance. Ida Haendel told me to play as if the sound is coming from the heavens and not the sheet music. I remember immediately playing way better.

Problem with trying to "pay homage to a composer" is that a composer can't and is not expected to write every little detail in his music. Bach was said to have played many more embellishments than what is written in the Sonatas and Partitas. A true performer plays from his heart as well as the music. This is IMAO, what makes one performer more interesting than another.

If you listen to the "old guys" play Brahms Violin Concerto you will notice that they too fluctuate on the tempo to be musical and interesting. I think when you play Brahms, you automatically feel what he intended to write but could not. It just makes sense.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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coolpinkone
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"Play as if the sound is coming from the heavens.."  Oh Pierre that is indeed a beautiful way for a teacher to inspire true art.  Probably why you still play and love it today. :). 

I like hearing your view on this.   

I know J.H.  Is undeniably mesmerizing.  But it is funny when I watch him  I see movement and passion.  

I listen and watch any violinist and I either feel them and love them or I don't.    I think it is that way with all music. It is art.  Not everyone loves the Mona Lisa.

I wonder how composers and musical genius from the past would feel today... Seeing their great works performed.   Something inside me says they would burst with happiness with the diversity and creativety.  Oh how i wish I knew... :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlestix
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October 3, 2014 - 1:06 am
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Chinafiddler said

This is why Heifetz stands out from most of the others. He believed as his father did that an artist should pay homage to a composer adhering strictly to what the composer wrote, no passing over notes or juggling with the rhythm.

 

If I'm not mistaken, J.H. is no longer with us. This is a new era.

Chinafiddler said

Also the artist should not put on a show of how difficult the music is by wriggling, swaying, bobbing, or grimacing!

 

Would be awful boring to watch.

Chinafiddler said

He only moves what he needs to move, nothing more nothing less. This way you are not distracted from what is in fact the most important thing,...the music.

 

Also,,,,,, borrrrrrrrrrriiiiing, and without disrespect to you,  please do not invite me to play a duet with you.

Chinafiddler said

Check out some of the old YouTube videos of him and watch him carefully.

Regards

Recently turning "71", I still prefer and being one of the "old" guys, I still prefer movement in a performance.

And since you can't get "YouTube" in China, I'll leave you with this.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_X.....1MDE2.html

Regards.

Ken

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DanielB
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October 3, 2014 - 1:15 am
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Different people have different tastes.  But there is always a tendency to think of the things you like as being actually the best.

Personally, I like hearing some variation and style.  If I want to hear music played exactly as written, I can load a midi file of it and use it to drive some good quality digital samples of acoustic instruments and.. it is just not the same.  LOL  The word "lifeless" comes to mind as particularly appropriate, although such tech tomfoolery can give a result that is "perfect" so far as the score alone can indicate.

Nuances of expression, dynamics, choice of tone "colour" from one note to the next.. Those are not usually given in a written score.  But I feel it is those qualities that are where each individual performer who may play a piece breathes their own quality of life into it.

My guitar teacher once said "The written music is a recipe.. But you still have to know how to cook."

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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coolpinkone
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October 3, 2014 - 1:31 am
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@Fiddlestix  ... Great video!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Chinafiddler
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Hi Fiddlestix and others,

 

Well I guess we won't be playing duets!

As for the video well I am lost for words.

Make of that what you will sir.

 

Regards

From a stiff old player who has always strived to help young people play well, but here tends to be considered as boring and stiff!

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Fiddlestix
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Chinafiddler said
Hi Fiddlestix 
 

From a stiff old player who has always strived to help young people play well, but here tends to be considered as boring and stiff!

I don't consider any type of music boring and stiff, but I do think that one should be diversified. 

Is it possible you can put up a video of your own, I know you can use, Youku for that, we can watch, it's not banned in America.

And I also love to see young people striving to play well as well as old like some of us here in the forum.

 

Ken.

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suresh
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bfurman said
WOW!  I was listening to public radio on the drive home from work today, and I heard a solo violin timbre, vibrato, and bowing performance unlike any other I've heard recorded before.  Simply magical.

The announcer finally gave the clue that the performance was by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Concerto #3 in G maj.  I have to admit to never paying much attention to solo artists, bbut this performance was a beautiful standout.  What else have I been missing out on?

Hi bfurman!  Every violinist and every violin is unique. As a true lover of music, particularly of violin,  I find it difficult to say this one is/was best.  If I want to hear Mozart Violin concerto No.3,  I will not rest until I have heard it played by Heifetz, oistrakh, Menuhin, Grumiaux, Kreisler, Leonid Kogan, Milstein, Isaac Stern, Szeryng, Ginete Neveu, Michael Rabin etc (if their recordings are available) for they use various cadenzas. Hear various artists and enjoy.  Since you wanted to know 'what else have I been missing out on', it gave me huge scope to bring on the names of Heifetz and others.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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