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Patty Rutins

Duets with Lilo

Published: Aug. 25, 2008 at 1:09 PM
Last modified: Aug. 25, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Yesterday evening I finally got out to play duets with Lilo Kantorowicz Glick, my friend and teacher (when I have time to take lessons, which unfortunately I currently do not). It's been a long time since I've played with her at all, since my little person arrived on the scene; I'm a bit rusty in general, too. Since she stopped playing concerts a couple of years ago and hasn't been playing much chamber music lately, she felt rusty too (not as rusty as I am, though!).

We played Mazas and Pleyel duets, just reading through them and enjoying each other's company. Once we got warmed up, it was easy to remember why I love playing with her. With some musicians, no matter how good they are, playing duets or chamber music with them is just a blah, unsatisfying experience. With others, it's like enjoying a gourmet 5-course meal, complete with a perfect wine and then creme brulee for dessert. There's just an understanding -- we feel the music together, and lead each other just by breathing and bowing. The music becomes beautiful -- even as we're both faking our way through passages too swift and chromatic for rusty sight-readers. We mesh well, she and I. It feels good, and it had been far too long since we had played.

We both agreed to do it again, soon.

In the meantime, Alex is enjoying his new violin. He's not exactly practicing daily, but it's fun for him to open the case and play with the rosin...

Alex plays the violin...

When I took this photo, he was also singing "Mary had a little lamb" quite convincingly while 'playing'. :)

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It's here.

Published: Aug. 7, 2008 at 1:45 PM
The itsy bitsy teeny weeny shiny violin arrived yesterday, safe and sound, only to be dropped in its box by my dear, clueless husband -- "you know what was in there, right?" "Huh?"

It was, however, unharmed by the gentle 5-foot drop from the pile of boxes in his arms, and I unwrapped a 16th-size case with a 32nd size violin inside.

I tuned it, briefly; I didn't have a tuning fork handy and to get one would've meant tromping up the stairs where my toddler with super-hearing was sleeping. The pegs are remarkably functional, and without any treatment they really didn't slip much. The bows (2 of them) are straight and wooden, with proper horsehair. Not the neatest hairing job I've ever seen, but it tightened up well and actually works.

I didn't have a real chance to test the violin for sound quality (see note about super-hearing and sleeping above), but when I touched the bow to the strings there came a nice clear sound, not the scratchy whisper that I expected. So I have decent expectations. I'll let you all know if they pan out. :)

Alex's birthday party is on Saturday, so after he opens it up I'll post a photo.

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