What Piece Is This ??

Edited: April 30, 2020, 1:51 AM · To be honest I feel somewhat ashamed asking this but it has bugging me for a while of what piece this is. Im surprsed I dont know it as I usually no problem indentify classical pieces. Does anyone know ?


Replies (13)

April 29, 2020, 1:00 AM · The link says “video unavailable”
April 29, 2020, 1:36 AM · hmm must of copied wrong. I re uploaded it so I hope that works as it does for me. If not not the video is esther abrami real stadavarius vrs exact copy.
Edited: April 29, 2020, 2:29 AM · Cesar Franck's violin sonata, third movement. Amazing that you can't hear and can hardly even see some of the joins. I couldn't detect any clear difference and didn't feel inclined to guess
April 29, 2020, 9:04 AM · That was a very interesting video. As soon as I heard the second violin, I knew it sounded like a modern instrument, but then again before looking at the comments I predicted that most people would prefer the modern violin.

First one had a much clearer sound with more overtones in my opinion. Definitely sounded old. The modern one sounded way too warm with not enough overtones. Wouldn't really carry well in a hall.

April 29, 2020, 9:45 AM · I can't really tell the difference from the YouTube. The piece is the third movement of the Franck Sonata. I've performed that (just that movement, the 2nd and 4th movements are too hard) with a pianist friend of mine.
Edited: April 30, 2020, 4:56 AM · The link does work for me, but Ben would you please do us a great favour and correct the spelling of your title?

The real topic of this thread isn't "What piece is this?" or "Can you tell a Strad from a modern copy?" but "Can you spot the difference between two violins in the hands of a single player?". With my eyes closed I'd never have realised two violins were being played, or that the video was spliced several times. James, why not try it and see how many splices you can spot? With eyes open I can see that the sync is perfect so it isn't a con! If Esther had only got an audience to make their decision after just listening to the audio she might have got some very revealing answers. As it stands, the evidence of our ears is inevitably contaminated, possibly even dominated, by what we see.

April 30, 2020, 12:45 AM · Paul, that's interesting. I find the 3rd movement to be the most difficult to make sound respectable!
April 30, 2020, 4:09 AM · Steve, indeed with eyes closed I could not hear some splices in the middle of the video, namely the ones where she was playing both violins within 1 long phrase. But when there was a rest between phrases, it was extremely clear for me that 2 different violins were being played (or 2 bows for that matter), so I don't think your last sentence is necessarily true about domination.
Edited: April 30, 2020, 5:37 AM · I've been messing around with the frequency spectra of the two instruments averaged across 5 seconds of each sample - hardly a rigorous comparison I know since they're not even comparing exactly the same snippets of music and there's the piano mixed in too. I'd have to say the spectra are remarkably similar, both showing a broad peak of activity between 100Hz and 1kHz mostly representing the fundamental frequencies, tailing off steadily to about 10kHz. So it doesn't look as if the Strad's overtones are any more intense; however human hearing is more subtle than any recording instrument (for example you wouldn't even be able to tell from the spectra that two instruments are playing!) so I certainly wouldn't discount the possibility that younger ears may be detecting something that mine miss.

There are circumstances in which what we hear is hugely influenced by what we see, for example the well-known consonant illusion when we can see the movements of the lips, but in this case since the violins look so similar I don't think it's likely to be significant

April 30, 2020, 9:30 AM · I agree with Jack, rather than Paul. The third is, I think, the most difficult interpretation-wise. The clue, is, I reckon, "fantasia" - Think organ fantasias. Particularly in the earlier part of the movement, before he goes down memory lane.
But I don't know if I'll ever get to play that sonata again - or Brahms, for that matter - with a pianist. I've only realized how to interpret Brahms D-minor 3rd movement AFTER the last time I played it.
April 30, 2020, 2:40 PM · John, nice idea re organ fantasia. I picture the first few bars as being like the adagio from the Bach g minor or a minor sonatas.

Steve, I absolutely agree about the role of vision. I think there are some journal articles which argue that even experienced musicians are heavily influenced by visuals rather than by what they hear when rating performances.

Interesting, too, about looking at the partials of both violins. Paris double blind experiment revisited?

April 30, 2020, 11:02 PM · Do keep in mind that YouTube audio is compressed, possibly significantly so, which will cut out frequencies.
May 1, 2020, 3:22 AM · Exactly as Lydia has said.
To me, trying to make any accurate observation of such a nature, is a fool's errand.

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