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One of my few Solo-Concerts incoming

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Published: October 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM [UTC]

Hello fellow bowing people. Next week I have a concert, where I play a small solo program with orchestra. Including Massenets Meditation and Sarasates Zigeunerweisen. Therefore I made a small trailer, wich just features the Meditation. If you like, you can watch it. And no, I am not proud of my chaotic room, but I have only this one ;)

To be frank I added a little reverb to the audio.
For me playing solo isn't a routine and I am always open to critizism, so please tell me if there is something you don't like. Later this day I will have a rehearsal with orchestra, there I will try to catch some Sarasate too :) cheers

From Austin Chen
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 8:53 PM
Simon, thanks for sharing, I enjoyed that a lot! I thought it was a very tasteful interpretation, and you're definitely a better player than I am, so I am a bit hesitant to critique your playing. Having said that, there was a spot that felt a bit forced, from 1:09-1:17. Maybe you might rethink the bowing, perhaps adding some slurs will add fluidity to the notes and to the phrase. Or maybe it's just me.
And more tonal and dynamic contrasts never hurt-- maybe play with the bow speeds? Your speed stays constant within each whole bow. Great playing :)
From Simon Streuff
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 9:10 PM
Thank you very much for the Ideas. I really appreciate it! Slurs may be a good Idea for that place and dynamics in general too. Its hard to find that sweet sound in piano so I often overdo to get the right contact. I should risk more in that regard.
From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Bravo!! Beautiful!! And for the dynamics, (not that I am any deserving of telling any advice either in my case...) I'm sure that with an orchestra and adrenaline and everything, you'll make even more! Anyone, even a pro, with a recording machine in a room can't quite produce the same performance as in a hall designed for this with the orchestra and everything.

For daring more piano, it could be interesting but beware of light arm syndrome onstage. My teacher tells it's dangerous to start something too piano onstage because when violinists are nervous, playing with not ennough pressure or gravity can trigger bow shaking and after it's hard to not become overly concerned with this when it happens and to stop it! Vengerov said about this, piano but you still want the last row to hear it...

Good luck!

From Zina Francisca
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Danke Simon, ich fand das sehr schön! Vielen Erfolg mit dem Konzert.
From Simon Streuff
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Thank you very much. I think its right not to play too much piano in the beginning, but maybe when the theme comes the second time I will try to play it less loud. Also the orchestration is thinner the second time, so that it suits the idea.
My old teacher also always told me to stay in contact to the string, it is a very good and healthy advice, I have nearly no stagefright after I changed my playing style in that direction.
Teacher who tell you to play "very soft" in a solo repertoire usually have not much experience with playing solo. Neither have I, but all the active players, teachers and soloists I studied with are always looking for a good soundfoundation. Usually they also have great instruments, wich will allow them to push to a beautiful sounding fortissimo, so that the dynamic range will still be very broad.
Good night and thanks again! Sarasate is still a pain. ;)

Edit: Dankeschön Zina! Bist du aus Deutschland? Komm zum Konzert ;)

From Jim Hastings
Posted on October 24, 2013 at 11:41 PM
I love it. Thank you for uploading it. I played the track 2 times, sitting here at the computer, then 3 times while finishing evening chores in the next room. I will definitely play it again. Your audience should be very pleased.

Re: 1:07-1:19: Actually, I like the emphasis of the separated full bows. I don't recall what the score has for bowing at this point, but I'll try it both ways for comparison.
Thanks to my music studies, I picked up some German; so, without looking anything up, this is my best guess at what Zina said:

"Thank you, Simon. I found that very beautiful. Much [Erfolg -- 'success'?] with the concert."

From Charles Cook
Posted on October 25, 2013 at 1:50 AM
Excellent playing, and you play it very well. You also have a violin that loves the mic, lucky you. The only thing that concerns me is your violin's set up; there's virtually no tilt to the violin's position. Your shifting is good, but if you find that it could be better, or easier than look at the tilt. Also, having a good tilt makes bowing piano on the D and G easier/better. Playing the violin this way (no tilt) may also cause problems with shoulder pain and injury.
I have my violin set at 51°±5° angle from horizontal. When my bow is placed at the tip on the E string, the frog is only a couple of inches from my stomach.

May not be the right thing to do before a concert, but after it for sure.

From Zina Francisca
Posted on October 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM
That is exactly what I tried to say. Well done. Wrote it without looking anything up, too ;-)

I would love to come and listen to you. Alas, from where I live in The Netherlands it would still be quite a trip to Hannover. Will you be posting a recording or a video for your fans here at

From Simon Streuff
Posted on October 25, 2013 at 9:06 AM
haha, you are cool!
Interesting tip with the tilt, never thought about that so much. I will consider it later!
Zina, I will try to get a video of the concert. I hope everything will be in tune in the concert. Its an amateur orchestra and sometimes they are ok and sometimes they are way off ;) I am thankful though, that I can play with them.
Thank you for watching, when I get lucky with the video recording, I will post it here for sure!
From jean dubuisson
Posted on October 25, 2013 at 6:38 PM
it's really good Simon, great for you!
From Isabelle Sampaio
Posted on October 29, 2013 at 2:05 PM
Great playing, Simon! Congratulations.
Your violin sounds great too. If possible, post a video of your performance later.

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