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Violin stories
Good reads about violinists and instruments
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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stringy
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April 29, 2021 - 5:20 pm
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A while back on violinist.com there was a thread about good violin books but basically learning books. I was wondering what are the best violin stories that members have read. I have quite a few which have been great true stories, just got another one called levs violin which I have just started reading  and seems like its going to be excellent, its about a woman tracking down the history of a violin origInally made in Cremona, and its journey to eventually end up in the hands of a small time violinist.

Has anyone got favourites?

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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iFIDDLE
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April 29, 2021 - 6:01 pm
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stringy said
A while back on violinist.com there was a thread about good violin books but basically learning books. I was wondering what are the best violin stories that members have read. I have quite a few which have been great true stories, just got another one called levs violin which I have just started reading  and seems like its going to be excellent, its about a woman tracking down the history of a violin origInally made in Cremona, and its journey to eventually end up in the hands of a small time violinist.

Has anyone got favourites?

  

Not a book..but a good listen about a custom made violin for a Montana fiddler using a tree from his area.  There are several in this podcast that are about like what you describe...

https://rosinthebow.podbean.co.....m-montana/

 

https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-.....s58-e4a08c

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stringy
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April 29, 2021 - 6:32 pm
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They sound good links Greg, I am off work tomorrow so I will give them a listen;)

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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ELCBK
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April 30, 2021 - 12:44 am
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@stringy -

Your book sounds very similar to "The Red Violin" film (1998) that I've seen. 

I read sooooo much info lately - haven't felt like enjoying a good book for story's sake in quite a while (and I have some great books sitting here to read).  So, I've been watching films, instead. 

Loved "Fiddler On The Roof", but also enjoyed "Paganini" (1989)! 

Mimi Aysha recommended "The Christmas Bow" (2020 Hallmark) - it was very good film, too.

Amazing!  I didn't realize just how many films have been made about violinists/violins - most probably came from better books.

Here's 2 film lists. 

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls031066693

https://www.raindance.org/top-.....iolinists/

Thanx, for bringing the subject up! 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/18/21/9d/18219d74b9516c673a11effee5a9c8e1.png

 

...I'll really enjoy starting with some of those older ones.😊

- Emily

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Fiddlerman
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July 12, 2021 - 2:35 pm
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What kind of stories are you looking for.

This reminds me of when we get together with our sailor friends. Everyone has their sailing story.... I do have a lot of violin stories but I need to be reminded.

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

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Irv
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July 13, 2021 - 12:51 pm
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These are the books I have read.

With Strings Attached by Joseph Seigeti.  (Hungarian violinist).

The World of Music According to Starker by Janos Starker.  (Hungarian cellist).

My Viola and I by Lionel Tertis.  (English violist).

American Luthier by Quincy Whitney.  (About Carleen Hutchins, an experimenter in string instruments).

I have also read some books about the physics of the violin and string instruments in general.  I do not thing these are particular Germaine to discussion.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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stringy
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July 14, 2021 - 5:41 pm
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fiddlerman I was thinking of actual books like the min kim one, called gone about how she had her strad stolen at euston station, true story and really good, made world headlines a few years back, but if you have any rollicking tales I wouldnt mind hearing them;)

Irv, that book sounds interesting, with strings attached, have to see if I can get hold of that one.

Emily, read a book on pagannini the other week it was a good read, he was a bit of a moneygrabber apparently.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Mouse
July 14, 2021 - 9:41 pm
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This is my favorite true story of a violin

Grampa's Folk Fiddle

I could not resist, but it is my favorite. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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iFIDDLE
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July 14, 2021 - 10:29 pm
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This is a repeat post of this from me but fits into this discussion for anyone that hasnt seen it.

 

@mouse ... yes your story is the kind that I like hearing!

There was one similar to that on a podcast.  I man was given or bought, cant remember, an old fiddle made by a maker in West Virginia.  The new owner was cusrious about the luthier and tried for a couple of years to tra k down information about him but was only able to find an old newspaper article about his work from a small town close by.   The article gave an address of where the builder lived ( was back in 20's maybe..old article.)  so the new owner made a special trip to the address but there was nithing but a vacant lot and his search hit a dead end.  about a year or so later the new owner was attending a fiddle festival and was about to leave but decided to sit down and play a tune or two when a gentleman walked up and remarked about how good it sounded.  one thing lead to another and the new fiddle owner explained how he had been trying to locate the builders history and learn about him with no luck.  The gentleman that walked up asked for the name of the luthier and when he was told he said..thats was my great uncle...he lived with us for several years..i can tell you alot about him and have pictures and many personal items still at my house and show you where he lived...he also went on to say that he and his wife had always attended this festival but she had passed the previous year.   he was still grieving and almost didnt attend but something kept tugging at him to show up.  There was alot more to it but basically that was the gest.

somewhere around 26:00 to around 40:00 is the story.. 

 

https://rosinthebow.podbean.co.....-virginia/

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Mouse
July 14, 2021 - 10:46 pm
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@iFIDDLE 

I love that story! That is soooo neat.

A friend came over today. She lives about 2 hrs away, first time we got together in over a year. She knows about my American Folk Fiddle because I had told her. I showed it to her and she held it.

The  she told me her friend took violin lessons and she knew Allen Parker, she knew about all his violins. She did not have one. She said the people she knew loved them. She gave up violin. She was a young adult learner. I asked Diane to ask her if she knew anyone else who had one. I am going to email Diane tomorrow. Our chat subject changed. We had a lot of catching up to do, 😂. She was here for 3 hours. It was going to be a short visit! LOL What fun.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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iFIDDLE
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July 14, 2021 - 10:48 pm
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thats so neat @mouse !  crazy how things like that fall into place.

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Mouse
July 14, 2021 - 10:54 pm
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I know. This lady did not live in the same town Allen Parker lived. She was living in the area my friend lives making it more than 2 hours away from where Allen Parker, and my grandmother lived, and that was back in the early 1950’s. So probably a longer time frame because of slower speed limits and the highways were not there, at least the two that would be used to get from where he lived to where she was, so there was a long distance and she knew about him and others who played the violins he made. Maybe I can find another? I kinda doubt it. This was a long time ago and she did not keep up with her violin, and probably did not hang out with the other fiddlers anymore. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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July 15, 2021 - 3:14 am
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@stringy -

I think I expect too much out of a good book and I no longer have patience for poorly written ones, but if you find something truly exceptional - I would be interested. 

 

@iFIDDLE , @Mouse -

LOVE these stories, Greg! 

Mouse, maybe you can take a suggestion from Greg's story - find where the next big Fiddle Festival nearest your Grandparents will be, plan to go & mingle! 

And TAKE YOUR FIDDLE! 

People will notice, ask you about it... and they will know people that may lead you to another of your Grandfather's Fiddles! 

There's also fiddlers at The Highland Games & most States here have at least 1 in the Summer.  They usually always have a Cèilidh (kay-lee) with plenty of fiddlers who mention things to other fiddlers, etc...

Make up a business card, so people can get info to you - even if it just says 'Contact Mouse at the Fiddlerman Forum'. (lol) 

If I remember in November, at the next Fiddle Hell Festival, I'll ask about.  In 2022 they are supposed to have a Live Festival - might be able to talk my Brother into going cause he's in Massachusetts and I could get him to ask around. 

 

@Irv -

How much did you enjoy reading the books by Seigeti, Starker, and Tertis? 

I'm asking, because I don't want to read a dry Autobiography when I can gather key points from Wikipedia. 

Nowadays, I need the promise of an entertaining, well written story, if I'm going to read for pleasure.

I was checking out reviews/synopsis of Lionel Tertis' book, and was surprised you didn't say whether you liked it.  From what I can gather, this should be good read and inspiring to all Violists. 

https://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/violinist-david-ridley.jpg 

 

← by David Ridley 

 

...this IS a small World and all you have to do is reach out! 😊 

- Emily

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Mouse
July 15, 2021 - 7:30 am
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@ELCBK We do not have fiddle fests around here, pretty much no fests of any kind. The nearest place is below ground. They passed away a long time ago. I am happy with my American Folk Fiddle, and any additional info I come across is icing on the cake. If I can find one for my favorite brother, who led me to this to begin with, I will get it and get it checked out and fixed where needed and give it to him. 

I miss the local Pennysaver. Finding things is so much easier without, using this darn internet, but that is not the discussion here. I hope we get more stories here, either recommended books, with some information about them, or actual stories by members about their violins. That does give me an idea. 

Ok, enough of my Gramp Parker Fiddle, let's hear about more stories.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Irv
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@Elcbk and others.  I would not have listed the books here if I had found them unsatisfactory.

Both Szigeti and Starker had trying experiences as young people growing up in Europe during the Second World War.  

Szigeti certainly had the warmest personality of the three, which comes through in the book.  He freely admits that he had a “big fish in a small pond” moment when he came to New York and heard other violinists perform there.

Starker provides a look into the trials of the traveling musician, particularly in his travels in Africa when he was sponsored by the US government, dealing with untuned pianos and injuring himself lifting his various luggage bags and instruments.  He never got to use expensive cello (likely because his caustic personality dissuaded patrons from loaning instruments), so he had luthiers make copies of the ones he liked.  He was famous, but needed a professorship at a music school to make ends meet for his family.

Tertis, like Starker, was not a very nice person.  And he was driven to be a solo performer on the viola so spend a career adapting pieces created for other instruments.  I found it interesting that a Tertis shaped cello was used by his second wife.  He freely gave drawings to interested luthiers, and never made money from the sales.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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ELCBK
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July 15, 2021 - 3:45 pm
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@Irv -

Thank you! 

I really appreciate all your insight. 

You've definitely piqued my interest! 😊

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