Are you polygamous?
Some violinists talk about a violin as their voice, or soulmate, and needing a lot of time to adapt to it. Among famous soloists, Joshua Bell with his Gibson ex-Huberman Strad would be an example. Another example is Min Kym, whose book about the theft of her Strad at a sandwich bar I reviewed on Maestronet. Some seem to be comforable using different violins in their collection, such as Szyering, though he described one Del Gesu as special. Others will--allegedly--have a famous instrument but often use a copy of it even for concerts.
Which are you? It could be a poll I suppose. Monogamous or polygamous. 'Bigamous' would be ambiguous because it could refer to those famous violinists who has both a Strad and a DG, though like Heifetz they surely used one mostly; or it could refer to those with a an antique and a copy of it; or just to those with two favourite instruments.
Polygamy is more commom with viola players, I think. One of my players, a principal in the Deustche Kammerphillharmonie Bremen uses her old Cremonese viola in the orcestra and one of my violas for contemporary music and solos.
You haven't listed polyandry (practiced by the ancient Inuit) as an option: Many players all playing the same violin.
With my violin, I'm strictly monogamous. When travelling with my family we often only take my son's (cheaper) violin with us, and I use it then for practice, but it takes me some time to adapt. Same with most other violins.
Hope to make a viola to you in the future Nuuska!
After 55 years of serial monogamy (with just three partners) I decided my musical life needed a shake-up and for the last 18 months have been thoroughly promiscuous with violins bought and sold at auction. It's been an exciting experience but I discovered it can take considerable time to get the best out of an unfamiliar instrument, and the practice hasn't done any good for my intonation.
Since you are taking risks having a lover, or some lovers, it is better having top ones!
"Since you are taking risks having a lover, or some lovers, it is better having top ones!"
I love my violin. She is my most precious possession.
Unfortunately I can't afford glamorous Italians, young or old. Middle-aged British are more my league, and given the necessary TLC they can be pretty good.
So far I had one expensive violin that I performed all my solos with and a great modern one for the orchestra. A couple of months ago I bought a French 19th C. Jacquot violin from auction sight unseen which proved to be the equal of my good violin after a proper set-up. Now I'm considering using it in the orchestra if my colleagues let me, as they like to borrow it all the time.
A few years ago, a lovely old Viennese violin came into my life, and I just can't give her up. But... just the other night I was working on a few tracks I have to record that really need a bluegrass sorta-tubby viola-esque sound and I pulled out an old Saxon from the closet. It definitely has that sound, but it's hard to play--it seems to need extra oomph from the bow, while even the thought of a note seems to bring out a sweet little sound from my #1 instrument. I think it's the bridge on the Saxon that's the issue--it seems a little heavy and clunky--and so I am taking the old Saxon to the luthier this week to see if it can be a little more responsive with a new bridge. If it works, then I imagine I will keep that fiddle ready to go, because there are definitely gigs where that dark fiddle sound is just the thing. Hopefully these two will somehow get along.
Steve Jones wrote, " Unfortunately I can't afford glamorous Italians, young or old. Middle-aged British are more my league, and given the necessary TLC they can be pretty good."
Wow. Talk about a first-world problem.
I tend to agree with John Birchall, but if the old Italians didn't sound well, then players would have passed them by for something cheaper and better. Given that old Italians are mostly repairs nowadays and the good ones are way beyond the reach of mortal musicians. If one is willing to forget the old Italians, there are a lot of great violins around, new or older that would fit the bill exceptionally well.
"When a bank buys a Strad for investment, the last thing they look for is sound and playability."
I have never heard this term when referring to musical instruments.
I think it would be more interesting to hear from players who are polydactyl.
In a quartet concert, I might play my "mezzo' viola for Mozart, and my plummy "contralto" viola for Brahms. I love them both, so I suppose it is a kind of polygamy..
I have a desire to be monogamous, but I have my children's mother that keeps getting between me and my beloved violin.
My "Wooden Partner" (a.k.a. the Mittenwald Strad) are life partners. I do admit to having had a fling with a Reinhold Schnabel a few decades or so back. The affair ended badly as we were not compatible at all (although it did get along quite well with my teacher).
Scott, biandry has been documented (See Hoffnung's Violon Double), but I don't know about polyandry.
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