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Karen Allendoerfer

It's mine!

May 12, 2007 at 8:35 PM

I bought the Doetsch viola! The Eastman was growing on me during the week, it sounded especially nice with the Prelude from Bach suite #2, but I decided still, in the end, that I wanted the Doetsch. It has a smooth, lovely sound that I don't seem to ever get tired of. Every time I put it back in the case, it was with regret.

And I played the Prelude from Suite #1 the best I ever have on my new instrument, especially the ending chord. I have an unfortunate tendency to land on chords sometimes and make them harsh, but this one sounded sweet, singing. The Telemann viola concerto also sounds wonderful on this instrument. Yes, a good instrument makes you a better player.

Still, it never really stops, you can always get something better. I just finished reading the article that Al posted about the teenage girl with a $115K violin whose parents are sacrificing virtually everything for her and her sister's music education. For some weird reason, that makes me feel better about spending a bit under $2K for my viola. At least it's paid for, and so is the house I'm practicing it in.

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on May 12, 2007 at 8:54 PM
Congratulations, Karen! The love affair just begins to unfold itself:) What's his name?

I think we’ll always go through stages that we hate the sound of our violin or viola and think that we’ve outgrown it. The notion of outgrow is not always clear though. The day before yesterday I had a rehearsal with the accompanist, who is really well-known in Canada (frequently on national radio and TV). Before and after the rehearsal, I felt strongly that my $1,500 strad copy wasn’t good enough. I expressed this to my teacher casually afterwards. She wisely offered me to try her violin, which always sounds very smooth and sweet when she plays. I also tried her bow on her violin, well, I didn’t like it any better than mine. So I asked her to play my violin, first with my bow and then with hers. Yes, you might have guessed, I didn’t know my violin sounded beautiful!

What I’ve learned from this is that, since it is very subject when it comes to choose a violin, the subjectivity should be affected by my shaky state of mind and technical immaturity. If I start to hate the sound of my violin again, I will have my teacher or a much better violinist to play it before spending more money on another one.

From Tommy Atkinson
Posted on May 13, 2007 at 1:03 AM
ooh, good choice on the doetsch! i had a doetsche violin that lasted me all the way into my college years until i got an upgrade after a bunch of technique work in college. i thought the doetsch was a really nice instrument that played much easier and better than instruments much more expensive than it. i'm sure you'll love it!
From Clare Chu
Posted on May 13, 2007 at 6:07 AM
Congratulations Karen. I'm glad you got the one you really liked. Even though it might have been more than the Eastman, you don't have any regrets. Violins are so personal. I know what Yixi is talking about. Sometimes you have a love/hate relationship with them. I hope that violas are always good to their owners, smooth, sweet and mellow like chocolate.
From Karin Lin
Posted on May 13, 2007 at 7:10 AM
Congratulations, Karen! Enjoy!
From al ku
Posted on May 13, 2007 at 1:19 PM
karen, i am very happy for you that, at last, at least for the foreseeable future, your heart and ears have found a home.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on May 13, 2007 at 2:34 PM
Congratulations on your Bouncing Baby Viola! Have fun with it!
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 14, 2007 at 2:03 PM
Anne, that's funny you should call it a baby, because I've been thinking of it the following way: when my daughter was my son's current age, we had another baby. Now that he is that age, I got a viola.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 14, 2007 at 2:46 PM
Yixi, I think I know what you mean about "outgrowing" being subjective, but my viola sounds so much better than my violin, even with the same player (me) playing the same piece on the same day on the two different instruments. I'm interpreting that as my really having outgrown that violin. Or maybe it's the viola personality. Either way, I'm planning on upgrading my violin next.
From Bernardo B
Posted on May 14, 2007 at 5:34 PM
Congrats, Karen. You should post pictures of the new viola so we can admire it!

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