Lin, Rachlin, or Jackiw?
I've checked the schedule for the next season of the Indianapolis Symphony, and there are 3 concerts featuring violinists.
Richard Lin (Brahms, Janacek, Dvorak)
Julian Rachlin (Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky)
Stefan Jackiw (Korngold and Mahler)
I'm not familiar with any of them, and the budget won't allow me to see all three. I love Mendelssohn and am tempted to choose Rachlin for that reason, but all three are playing pieces from composers I love. That makes it hard to choose :-)
Anyone familiar with all three? They all must be good so no concern with that. I had hoped to see Hillary Hahn on the list, but no such joy. She was here a couple years back and I'm sure she has no small number of venues from which to choose.
I'd go for Lin or Rachlin. Leaning towards Lin for me, though, because I love the Dvorak concerto so much.
Thanks Nina, I'm going to do that, I was just wondering how well known they are.
I liked Lin's playing in the Wieniawski competition (best player there for my money, at least in the round I watched), but haven't seen him. I have seen Jackiw, and he had a really pressed sound the entire time. It was very unpleasant.
Who, who, or who?
Thanks Christian, I listened to Lin playing Bruch (part of Scottish Fantasy) tonight and enjoyed listening to him. I'm assuming they are all younger, but I may be far off base here.
I don't think I've heard Lin. Jackiw is good. But Julian Rachlin is marvelous. Rachlin isn't young -- early forties. He's got a wonderful romantic sensibility.
Assuming the programs are the violin concertos thereof, for my money, if you don't go to much live music, a program of Korngold and Mahler can be a bit much...
I actually would prefer the Korngold/Mahler evening, then the Mendelssohn Concerto evening.
I love Mendelssohn so will likely choose that one, but all three include at least one composer I love. So far I've only listened to Lin on YouTube, but all 3 concerts are later this year, no need to make up my mind now. I appreciate the feedback!
Rachlin is the best of the three.
I would do whatever I could to hear the Brahms and Mendelssohn. The Brahms is a marvelously constructed concerto. I was fortunate to see the Brahms in concert with Isaac Stern and Eric Friedman and the experiences were as different as they could possibly be.
Adalberto, you aren't kidding about that being the style with a lot of soloists. I can take it occasionally to make a certain emphasis, but when it is just how someone plays, then they just have a bad tone and it seems to me that they couldn't care less about how they sound (flashbacks of Nadia Solerno Sonnenberg). In that case, maybe they should take up painting?
I can't choose, so it will be both Mendelssohn and Brahms. I love both - how can I choose? I will make it work, and have never seen/heard either live. I'm not getting any younger!
Quite the first-world problem!!
"Who, who, and who" was a troll comment. I know certain players I like more than these great three l, and people like that poster would likely post a bigger "who?" stamp on them.
I'd never heard of Richard Lin before, or at least I hadn't remembered him. (I had not watched the 2018 Indianapolis competition.) He doesn't have a website and I imagine he hasn't had many major orchestra engagements, and he doesn't seem to have much of a media profile at all. "Who?" is not an unreasonable response there.
Yes Paul, it is indeed a 1st world problem! The Indianapolis Symphony brings in very good people for all styles of music. This includes James Ehnes in about 4 weeks, I'm really looking forward to seeing him and to see what I think of Sibelius live.
Catherine, I second Paul's suggestion but for more amusing reasons. By all means, ask Mr. Robinson about his teachers. Like a lady fresh from a cat show, Nate will eagerly tell you about the pedigree of each one and therefore himself. And for additional merriment, quote Ruggiero Ricci saying something like, "the Russian bow grip is inferior to the Franco-Belgian," and watch smoke pour from his ears and through your computer screen. Fun, fun.
I fail to see why the above comment was warranted. Just let people be who they are, and believe whatever they do. Most of us just enjoy the art of violin playing, whatever our favorite traditions may be.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bug1vvUAQbQ/ I don't think Jackiw's sound is pressed - he's had quite a nice tonal range the times I've heard him. But, de gustibus.
Jackiw sure talks a good game.
I played a few concerts with Jackiw in Boston when he was still in school. High school, I think. Very fine, although I found some recordings of that vintage that didn’t capture his tone well at all. Haven’t heard him since, but based on that experience he is a safer bet for me than—say— Joshua Bell.
How was the show?
Richard is a friend of mine and one of Mr. Rosand's very fine students from the Curtis Institute. I highly recommend going to hear him play! He sounded great at the Indianapolis on that C. G. Testore, which is just as good as any del Gesu in my opinion.
Hi Nate-- Suzuki two is finished but needs refinement. In between publishing books and writing articles and teaching students, I enjoy learning the professions of others, which they do for pay and I do for fun. I know you hate reading, so here is a video on Ricci discussing inter alia the Russian bow hold...a bow hold which I actually use.
Hi Benjamin, glad to hear about your development on the violin in addition to your publishing, and your other academic pursuits. Yes Ricci did say to me he felt it was easier to change the bow with greater flexibility at the frog using a more FB Belgian approach. However he didn’t feel it was necessary for me to switch to it since I was in my 20’s at the time and the Russian bow hold was already embedded in my system..I remember he said he felt the Russian hold was especially effective in the upper half of the bow. I saw Leonidas Kavakos the other night play at Carnegie Hall. He played fabulously as always using a form of the Russian bow hold - like his teacher Josef Gingold. I guess there’s more than one way to skin the cat?
Paul - those concerts are later in the year, just have to decide now which tickets to get the best price. As I can't decide am going to make all three of them. I really appreciate the discussion and feedback.
There was mention above about Stefan Jackiw's 'pressed tone'. Here he is playing the Mendelssohn - can someone explain to me what they mean? Maybe with a time reference? Or do so on a different recording?
Jackiw has a Bruch Scottish Fantasy video on YouTube where it sounds, at the beginning, that the violin is resisting a bit -- he seems to be pushing the sound and cracks the tone a few times, before settling in a few minutes into the performance. I suspect that's not so much him as a temperamental instrument reacting to a change in environment, though.
This "temperamental instrument" is probably worth $5 million.
Formula One is hard. You prefer a station wagon, those are available as well.
A great instrument is hard to play Stephen? Is that real or just romantic.
Nate, I had heard Kavakos actually switched to the Russian hold a few years ago - I guess he must have been looking for something particular in his sound. Although looking at older videos, I can't tell exactly, as his hand did look pretty tilted already, so I may be thinking of someone else.
Maybe you can find a recording that shows that - what do you think of his Mendelssohn linked above?
Christian, Kavakos said he switched to the Russian bow hold right before the Naumburg Competition in 1988.
"As far as Jackiw's sound, this was in Denver, which is really dry, so it's possible that his violin was being fussy and he couldn't figure out how to get a singing sound out on the fly."
Must say I didn't look that closely Paul! I would guess that the adjustments are automatic, compensating with different actions depending on the sound output, not the bow placement, pressure, speed etc etc (although I'm sure there are game plans for all).
Some great instruments are easy to play, some very hard.
Elise, listening now to the Mendelssohn, it sounds good to my ears. I just know he didn't sound like that when I heard him, and I don't know how to account for it - I find that going to a concert live can be a whole different beast than listening on a recording. Paul, I guess I was trying to be charitable in spite of myself. I get pretty annoyed at bad recitals and concerts, even though I adjust my expectations for student recitals. I'm pretty over the Colorado Symphony bringing the same performers year after year, some of them just being clowns, and the more they contort their bodies and faces, the longer the standing ovation from the audience.
Paul, as far as I know, Jackiw plays a JB Vuillaume (and IIRC, his parents bought it for him when he was a teenager). So six figures, not millions.
Whether six figures or seven, the spirit of my comment is the same: He (or his parents) spent way more on his violin than most of us ever will on our houses, violins, and vehicles combined, and then it turns out to be a fair-weather friend! Are we to conclude that great antique violins are only great half the time? Lydia? When the weather turns against your violin do you switch to your backup? Or wrestle with your violin "resisting the bow" knowing it will still sound better? And will it always?
To All and Catherine Kostyn ~
Nice interview here - sounds like it's not a Vuillaume unless things have changed recently: http://stringsmagazine.com/stefan-jackiw-finds-his-1704-vincenzo-rugeri-violin-to-be-a-versatile-vessel/
Hi Ms. Matesky nice hearing from you! I’m also a little unclear about what a pressed tone means. I remember Erick Friedman called the bow hold Mr. Heifetz used ‘the prodigy grip.’ His theory was that several of the child prodigies like Heifetz and Elman in the Auer class developed this bow hold naturally as a result of the bow being a little too big for the child at the time. Friedman said in his opinion that by securing the stick closer to the base joint of the index finger it gave these children a little additional leverage. Erick Friedman, who as many know, studied with Galamian in his formative years (before going to Heifetz), told me he used a version of Galamian’s bow hold sans the hyper extended index finger and Heifetz told him to keep using it even though it was different from his. Our friend Arturo Delmoni also recalled from watching Heifetz and Milstein at lessons and in performances that their bow holds were quite different. I’d be most interested to hear more about your studies and what you saw since you were ‘at the scene of the crime.’
Nate wrote, "I’m also a little unclear about what a pressed tone means."
I think I'm confusing Jackiw with another young violinist, in terms of what they're playing on, but I'm totally blanking on a name now.
Then Paul would you say that Pinchas Zuckerman has a 'pressed tone'? He is famous for his slow bow speed...
Many greats favor that style of sound. One can still not prefer it, without denying their proper place in the violin world.
It's easy to confuse a slow bow speed sound with a close mic'd sound. Gotta pay attention to where the mics are placed, to have any sort of clue about what's really going on.
Zukerman gets the voice of God out of his Guarneri. Sarah Chang presses hard. Big difference.
No, I wouldn't say Zuckerman has a "pressed tone." I just heard his Mendelssohn on the radio the other day and it was fantastic, unbelievable. I love his sound and the way he plays.
There are certainly professionals whose sound seems very pressed. More weight than their instruments can comfortably take, I think.
Catherine, my personal basic rule of thumb would be, "if there's Korngold, then go for it". The Korngold violin concerto is so darn beautiful, and relatively seldom played while the Mendelssohn is awaiting you around the next corner.
Lydia I was trying to be charitable with 95-5. Of course this is parametric.
I think we all know what you mean Paul - its where the borders are that is the challenge. Pressure is actually not the problem but a lack of balance between pressure, sound point and bow speed - and (as Lydia said) matching that to the instrument...
@Paul Deck ~
A previous teacher of mine (a Philadelphia Orchestra violinist taught by Auer pupil Bronstein originally, and who knew Milstein personally and adopted his way of bowing) described the motion like the arc of a door opening and closing, with a "follow through with the whole arm" (thinking of the motion as continuing past the frog) on the up-bow. It emphasizes using bow-speed for volume, rather than more weight on the strings. The arc also makes it easier to reach the tip of the bow if you have short arms.
Elizabeth - and I thought his arc was because he had short arms! That was given as the explanation for his curious violin hold - sort of pinned onto his lapel!
Dear Lydia Leong ~
Not knowing NM yet except by name, I looked up a few YouTube videos. I think in the Video of Bach Partita No. 3 it is relatively clear to see what you mean ( not in detail, but basically), and I'd never have the idea there was something about his arm length - seems that he had plenty of it in reserve. I admire how clear, unpretentious and nuanced he was in his playing...
You will see the arced bowing also if you watch Stern. Somehow, though, I'm not sure that will give me the last 5-6 notes of a Schradieck phrase with better tone ...
You'll see the arc bowing in a lot of players with Russian-style bow-arms. Milstein's bow arm is relatively unique, though -- look at the way that he uses his upper arm / shoulder, especially.
Dear Lydia ~
Lydia, Elisabeth - rest assured I'll explore his recordings, now that I took the bait...
Fischer's technical approach is basically Galamian-style technique.
Which means, in difference? (I could only find this only one NM video, and not everything gets clear from that single angle of view. Besides that, as said, I'm not the most experienced guy in this field, so please excuse me bothering you with the maybe obvious...)
Funny how discussions can change directions... Sorry to Catherine for prolonging this hijacking! :-)
No problem, I'm learning from the discussion! Indeed, I just came back right now to get the full name of NM sp I can see if any of his work is on Spotify.
In regards to the earlier attempts to describe the pressed tone, it is indeed hard to put into words. I would say, it didn't sing, it wasn't open. I would call it heavy, but not in the way I would describe someone's tone as dark, like a nice sounding viola.
Christian - did you see the masterclass video that Z did I think in China where he criticized the student's tone and the latter replied that that was all he could do on his awful violin. Z then took the violin and generated pretty much the same tone as on his own violin. Now that was the proof for me that its about the player...
I haven't. There are quite a few on Youtube, but I'd be curious to check it out. I am inclined to think the same thing. I imagine most players at that level have a really specific sound in mind, and not getting something close to that sound would probably drive them nuts until they got it.
We all sound like ourselves no matter what we're playing. The level of effort to sound that way is different, though, and the instrument still does have limitations. I think it always comes back to feedback, though. A more sensitive instrument actually trains us to play better, and then we take that ability back to whatever other equipment we try.