February 27, 2010 08:44
A student who was fairly new to the violin asked me this week, do I need a spare bow?
Well, it's always nice to have one, especially once you get pretty busy playing the violin. Personally, I have a spare bow, but I might call it as spare "bow." It's not the one I prefer! I'm dying to get a Baroque bow, but that will probably have to wait until the violin payments stop. I've also considered getting a Coda-type bow, to have a better spare. But for now, I simply have two bows.
I have known people to have a serious collection of bows, which is why I included some rather high numbers in this vote. How many bows do you have? Tell us about them below.
19 replies | Archive link
February 19, 2010 12:19
Ice skating...it's like dance, with gliding added.
But as we musicians understand, the music makes it soar. What would figure skating be without music? Just figures, I suppose, like silent movie.
Watching the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics way way too late for the last few nights, I found myself analyzing what worked, and what seemed a little ridiculous in the men's figure skating competitions. (I'm talking about music, not costumes...;) I also found my head spinning, not because the skaters were spinning, but because of the slicing and dicing required to make the music fit the routine. Some of the mash-ups worked fairly seamlessly (still alarming to one who knows the music!) and others were simply jarring.
What did I enjoy most? Well the gold-medal performance, naturally, but I truly thought Evan Lysacek showed good taste in music, skating to Stravinsky's "Firebird" for his short program and to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" for the long program. Though he didn't win any medal, the Swiss skater Stephane Lanbiel won me over with his awesome spinning -- he skated to Verdi's "La Traviata."
Let's say you could go out on the ice and, instead of falling on your behind or breaking your wrist, you could express yourself in some kind of artistic, expansive way. What music would you pick for your big performance? You can pick from below -- mostly the music I noticed over the last few days -- or please feel free to share another idea below, or tell us about another piece of music that worked particularly well for ice skating.
31 replies | Archive link
February 12, 2010 14:28
"I can work with that," I said to myself, upon finding a cassette tape of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in the glove compartment of my future husband's car. He may not be a musician, but clearly he understands good music, I noted.
That was a while ago, as evidenced by the fact that I feel the need to hyperlink "cassette tape" in case some of you have never heard of one.
I was impressed that Robert had bought that recording of his own volition, before he'd ever met me -- and that he had decent taste, too. It wasn't "Moonlight Classics" or something cheesy, it was Solti, with Chicago. I later found out that he had played viola in high school, had sung in a choir (I love his singing voice) and he had even sung and danced what we might call the original "Glee" Club (this particular show choir, actually).
What I'm getting at is the fact that we musicians often need a certain amount of understanding from our significant others when it comes to our devotion to music. Sometimes, we can't go out because we need to practice for three hours straight. Sometimes we drive very far, just to play a gig. Sometimes we want to talk shop, sometimes we go a little nutty for what inspires us.
So with Valentine's Day coming up on Sunday, I thought I would put the question to you: what do you need from your significant other, in support of your music? Please vote and tell your stories below.
12 replies | Archive link
February 6, 2010 00:27
I actually don't agree with the idea that we should worship the dead masters of the past, not to the point where we turn away from the present, refuse to support to the live artists of today and give up on having living, changing music. Certainly the great masters from the past can inspire us, but they can't....stand there, living and breathing, and play for us! So for me, I think there's nothing more thrilling than a live performance by a great artist.
Still, sometimes we draw inspiration from the masters of the past, or from the original recording of a piece. Youtube has opened up entirely new possiblities, and one can spend entire days going through the golden oldies. It's pretty thrilling to see Oistrakh, playing that cadenza from the Shostakovich, for example.
And then there is the matter of new recordings. My heart fell when a reader once wrote something along the lines of, "Why is XXX artist doing another recording of XXX, when Heifetz recorded it perfectly?" Well, why should your kindergartener sing "Silent Night" this year, when my kindergartener sang the same thing perfectly five years ago?
But I want your opinion and your thoughts on the matter, and please be honest. What do you actually prefer?
24 replies | Archive link
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