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This is probably the best performance of the Walton concerto on YouTube overall, with a convincing interpretation by both soloist and orchestra and excellent balance.
One interesting tidbit for those interested in equipment: unusually among modern-day soloists, Tamestit uses gut C and G strings, but his viola still has no trouble projecting in a large hall. His string set is Pirastro Passione C and G, Larsen D and A. Among prominent violists active today, only he and James Dunham use gut strings at all.
Just a cultural tidbit: The "HR Sinfonie Orchester" is a full time operation within the rather small regional TV station located in Frankfurt. When I left Germany 10 years ago, there were something like 16 regional TV stations and at least 12 had in-house synphony orchestras... and that's on top of the city-sponsored philharmonic hall resident orchestras. Just saying, the density and availability of classical music over there is mind boggling.
Love Tamestit's playing... keep getting distracted by the white piping on his suit (count on me to stay focused on the essentials 🙂
That makes sense. He is working much harder for less sound than Mari Adachi. I thought it was due to the gut strings.
I see a lot of boxwood accessories on viola. Is this an acoustic consideration, an effort to avoid weight on a large instrument, or simply tradition?
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My guess is that the boxwood accessories are there for acoustic reasons, and probably installed relatively recently (within the last 50 years) when seen on old violas. Boxwood fittings have existed for a long time, but my impression is that they have become much more common in recent years. Violists tend to be much more open to innovation and much more willing to replace accessories than violinists are. The violin tends to be seen by violinists as having already reached perfection. Violists know their instruments are acoustically imperfect and don't project well, so go to greater lengths to minimize any damping effects.