'Not Giants, But Windmills' for Viola Ensemble, by Garth Knox border=0 align=

'Not Giants, But Windmills' for Viola Ensemble, by Garth Knox

June 19, 2018, 7:01 PM · Here is a live performance from the American Viola Society Festival 2018! Composer Garth Knox wrote "Not Giants, But Windmills" for the festival, on commission from the American Viola Society. Before the performance he explains his inspiration: Don Quixote!

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The Week in Reviews, Op. 235: Patricia Kopatchinskaja; William Hagen; Primrose Viola Competition Finalists border=0 align=

The Week in Reviews, Op. 235: Patricia Kopatchinskaja; William Hagen; Primrose Viola Competition Finalists

June 18, 2018, 5:01 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja led the Ojai Music Festival.

  • Los Angeles Times: "Under Kopatchinskaja, this year’s festival was one of the brightest and most fun-filled in the 71-year history, and also the most defiantly dark and sobering."
  • Santa Barbara Independent: "In an extraordinary series of concert events, the young musician delivered surprise after surprise. From a moveable wall and crashing music stands in the finale of Thursday’s Bye Bye Beethoven to iPhones, metronomes, trombones, and musicians prone in and around Galina Ustvolskaya’s Dies irae on Saturday night, Kopatchinskaja and her collaborators created unforgettable combinations of sound and action, all while hewing closely to a well-informed and musically exacting agenda."
  • San Francisco Chronicle: "Her tenure as the festival’s music director, a position that rotates each year, seems to have been infused with a spirit of serious exuberance....the sense that many more things are possible under the sun than tradition and dogma tell us."
  • Ventura County Star: "From piquant to powerful, Ojai Music Festival 2018 music director Patricia Kopatchinskaja engaged audiences young and old, novices and longtime aficionados. With her ever-changing, ever-surprising choices for the 72nd celebration of wide-ranging classical music, the violinist and conceptualist found many ways to inject humor, power and meaning into her vision of Ojai’s signature cultural event."
  • San Francisco Classical Voice: "From its opening cadenza to its closing cadenza, this was an Ojai Festival that raised issues, had remarkable moments of musical illumination, and pushed buttons in the name of an art ideal that raises consciousness. Some found it provocative. Some were angry. Everyone was talking."
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The Retake: A Bowing Takes Center Stage border=0 align=

The Retake: A Bowing Takes Center Stage

June 17, 2018, 9:10 AM · You can count on one hand the number of articles that have been written about the retake. I’m being generous. Coming after a comfortable detache, the retake is a down bow followed by a lift, and then another down bow. It sounds easy enough, but a simple action like that can create quite a mess.

There’s no mention of the retake in either Carl Flesch’s The Art of Violin Playing or Ivan Galamian’s Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching. One thing I discovered was a section that Galamian devoted to the “Roulé” on page 104. This made me realize that bowing issues create the need for names to identify them, and often what better language is there than French to give them importance? (Note sautillé (jump), martelé (hammer), collé (glue), ricochet, détaché, serré, lancé, fouetté (whip), and and my favorite bariolage (multi-colored).

So far, the retake doesn’t have a French name, but it deserves more attention since it recurs over and over, and causes different problems each time. Maybe we can give it its long overdue, cool-sounding name in French. Any suggestions? A friend has offered some possibilities, which I’ll bring up later.

Defying Gravity

The retake is usually the first bowing that has to fight gravity and work with it. A beginning violinist starts with détaché and has no inkling that sometimes the bow will have to be in the air. Keep reading...

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