November 2007

Katica Illenyi --Crossover sensation in Hungary

November 25, 2007 13:25

I have a friend, Ferenc Illenyi, who is a member of the Houston Symphony. Ferenc is a fabulous violinist. He plays everything brilliantly. I got to wondering whether Ferenc had ever posted on Youtube so I did a search and -- surprise!!-- I found his sister, Katica. Katica is talented and beautiful and she or others have posted a few clips that are worthy of your attention:

I won't embed the others but these are all quite good

Her partner in the Bach Double must certainly be her younger brother. He is the image of Ferenc.

She talks about her background and upbringing in her web site.

To me this is what it means to be a crossover artist. Not just a PR creation but someone with real talent.

11 replies | Archive link

Book 'Review': Ricci on Glissando

November 2, 2007 18:17

Ricci on Glissando The Shortcut to Violin Technique is now shipping. I received my copy today and have skimmed through it.

Ricci discusses the pre-chinrest (yes chinrest) technique of Paganini that is based on caricatures of Paganini plus a few statements he made and the fingerings he marked in the parts to the Cantabile and Waltz for his student Camille Sivori.

Summaries like mine always get it wrong but Ricci advocates a radically (to us) different way of "holding" the violin with the left hand. He also advocates learning scales with a 1-1-1-1 fingering rather than the 1-2-3-4 fingerings that we use today. He insists that intonation cannot be learned playing single note scales (yes he said this in his left hand technique book) and that they must be learned as one finger drone scales (in glissando) and then advocates scales in fifths (one finger), two finger glissando scales in 4ths, 6ths, thirds, octaves and tenths.

Interestingly he concedes the shoulder rest "...if you decide to use a shoulder rest..." but suggests right and wrong ways to use it.

The book says nothing about right hand technique but comes with a DVD that discusses the right hand.

This is a a must read for all violinists. I think that many will reject it because it is so radically different but I expect that those who take it seriously will learn an awful lot.

I put the word review in quotes in the title. I hope others who are more qualified will obtain this book, study it carefully and post their thorough reviews of it their blogs here at

10 replies | Archive link

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