March 2009

Two Instruments in One Rehearsal

March 20, 2009 07:08

During yesterday's orchestra rehearsal, I made good use of my new double case (details). After tackling the first movement of a (the?) Serenade by Dvorak, our conductor pulled out the "Swiss Symphony for String Orchestra" by Felix Mendelssohn. There a part for first violins, one for second violins, one for second violas, one for cello/bass and one for third violin.

Yours truly was designated third violinist and I reached into my new case to pull out my small axe. After having attached the shoulder rest, tuning up and getting the violin bow out without breaking it, I managed to play the part prima vista without bungling the tricky runs with many accidentals. But, after the second page turning, I lost count and was completely out of the game for some lines until I managed to sneak back in and join the fun again.

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Souvenir de Paris

March 18, 2009 03:39

On a recent business trip to France, I finally managed to buy a case for both my violin and my viola.

If you search for a tailor in London, go to Savile Row. If you search for makers of bowed instruments and bows in Paris, go to rue de Rome. Metro 2 has a stop called "Rome" and you're only a few paces away from the shop(s) of your dreams.

While looking at the shop windows, watch your step: the City of Light is full of adorable little lapdogs that leave their smelly traces all over the place. In fact, more than 600 people are hospitalized in Paris each year after slipping on dog-doo and falling.

Several trials & errors later, I found what I was looking for at Le Canu.


According to the shop window, they speak English and German, but I resolutely relied on my spotty French and succeeded. The case was made by FEL (Fabrique d'Etuis de Luxe) in France.

The Paris RER (Resaux Express Régional) during rush hour is packed with people. Like in Tokyo, there are gloved "pushers" that will try to fit one more sardine in a can that is already too full. So there I was, with my little trolley plus my sizeable instrument case, wedged in between the other travelers.

Transport in the aircraft was no problem: since the case contained no instruments, I willingly checked it a the aircraft to be put into the cargo hold. We arrived safe and sound at NUE and continued our homebound journey.

The next day, I put my new case to good use - carrying my violin to my lessons and viola to the orchestra rehearsal.

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