We've been hearing a lot this week about the composer Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) and his symphonies.
First Emily pronounced her controversial opinion: I hate Bruckner, giving reasons musical, non-musical and personal. Then came the firestorm, with more than 80 responses to her blog. After, she wrote a blog responding to the general nature of the arguments, then after that, a letter to Bruckner.
Certainly the classical world has embraced the composer, and his music has moments of tremendous beauty. I've played Bruckner, and it can be inspiring as well as tedious, simply because of the length.
What are your thoughts about the composer and his music?
Here's some Bruckner 4 for you:
The legendary Jascha Heifetz famously told his students that it didn't really matter what kind of rosin one uses on the bow.
At least that's the lore here in Southern California, where the great violinist lived for he latter part of his days and taught at the University of Southern California. He apparently had an old cake of Hill.
I can't figure out if he really meant it, or if it was his way of saying, "Stop obsessing over what kind of rosin I use; if you want to play like me, practice!"
At any rate, I'm feeling that the sticky stuff is important enough for me to consider a change, as my rather dark rosin is feeling a little slippery, even when the bow hair is new. I went through a bit of a crisis when Tartini rosin closed shop, and I've been using Andrea (which is the same as Tartini, but different). I like very much that it has no cloth; it's easy to use. Also, I will keep it forever because my Suzuki group students like to play "hide the rosin" with it. One student goes in the other room while another hides the rosin, then the first student has to find the rosin, guided by the volume of the rest of the group. Forte means you're getting close. They like looking for the "cute little guy" on the Andrea rosin.
Our Emily Grossman ordered some kind of miracle rosin, which made me curious. ( How's the Baker's working out, Emily?) I'm going to try some Melos. There's always the old Pirastro, too, or Hidersine, which says it's "The Perfect Violin Rosin," and it is quite good. I had a cake of this for a very long time when I was a teenager, until I dropped it and it shattered into a million pieces.
If you are happy with your rosin, you really don't need to experiment. You can probably use the same cake for the rest of your life -- unless you drop it. Then you have to catch up on the rosins of the day because yours may well be out of circulation.
The properties of rosin seem important to me: whether it goes on smoothly and easily, how much it sticks to the string, if it flakes too much. Some people need hypoallergenic rosin. The packaging can also be a deal breaker. No one enjoys struggling with a sticky cloth that keeps falling off the rosin cake. For children, they need their rosin completely encased in wood so they can apply it. (They'll still drop it and break it.)
Maybe, in the end, it doesn't matter what kind it is all that much. Are we all being typically obsessive-compulsive, worrying about the properties of rosin?
I put the question to you: Does it matter what kind of rosin you use?
More entries: March 2012
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