I knew that something crazy had happened when violinist Jennifer Koh stopped playing during the LA Phil new music concert that I attended Tuesday.
Everyone seemed just a little more alarmed than they usually tend to be over a broken string, plus there was the alarmingly loud noise that accompanied the mis-hap. I guessed that maybe the bridge had collapsed, but it was actually far more spectacular:
As Jennifer said, "I attached a picture of the reason I had to switch fiddles! I took it backstage after the fiddle players in the Phil gathered up the pieces for me. It's on my Facebook page too.... I've never had this happen! I've never seen this happen before!"
Nor have I! Has it ever happened to you, in a concert or otherwise? Has your bridge ever just broken? Has it ever collapsed?
In preparing for the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, which begins at the end of this month at Juilliard, I've been taking a closer look at the Six Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe, the turn-of-the-20th century Belgian violinist and composer who taught Josef Gingold, William Primrose, and Nathan Milstein, among many others.
Specifically, a pedagogy class by violinist Ray Iwazumi will focus on Sonatas No. 2 and No. 5, neither of which I've studied. I'm most familiar with the famous "Ballade," which is Sonata No. 3.
The more I look at these sonatas, the more interested I become. Not only are they harmonically interesting, but they give such a window into the violin technique of Ysaÿe, simply in the way he suggests achieving everything: the fingerings he uses, etc. It all, weirdly, works out. What a treasure.
So I'd like to mine your minds -- tell me, which is your favorite of these sonatas? Why is it so? Perhaps it's the only one you know, that that's all right, too.
If you need an excuse to familiarize yourself with these works, I will provide you some Youtube performance links, and you can use these as your basis to vote:
Sonata No. 1 (II. Fugato) (Ilya Kaler)
Sonata No. 2 (Obsession) (Julia Fischer)
Sonata No. 3 (Ballade) (Nikita Borisoglebsky)
Sonata No. 4 (Allemanda) (Leonidas Kavakos)
Sonata No. 5 (L'Aurore) (Augustin Hadelich)
Sonata No. 6 (Ray Chen)
More entries: April 2011
Violinist Frank Almond tells the life story of the 1715 Lipinski Strad in his new recording, "A Violin's Life."
The Weekend Vote is from Pasadena, California. Biography
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