twosetviolin ?

September 25, 2020, 12:00 PM · Just by curiosity I would like to hear what you think of twosetviolin if you have seen or heard them ?

I think that they might get in contact with a public not used to classical music, but what do you think ?


Replies (33)

September 25, 2020, 12:17 PM · I discovered them when I was first starting the violin, (I’m a very old re- beginner) and found Eddy’s various tutorials first.
I’m not sure what following they have amongst serious classical musicians , but they get some classy performers in their episodes. It’s where I first heard of Ray Chen, for example, and I for one will never look at a hula hoop the same way again.
I’m sure they do attract a lot of younger non-classical music oriented followers, and that can only be a good thing. I find them very educational, in a lighthearted way.
Watching their banter, they downplay what serious players they are themselves, but they manage to get a reminder in to ‘go practice’ in most episodes. There was an article about them in a recent edition of the Strad
September 25, 2020, 12:21 PM · The TwoSet guys are quite accomplished players themselves, for all their horsing around. You can think of them as being at the level of orchestra pros.

I usually really enjoy them, though their content frequency cadence these days means that each episode is more of a mixed bag.

Edited: September 25, 2020, 7:40 PM · They are serious players.

I was impressed by the video in which one of them actually learned and performed Paganini's Variations on “Nel cor piu non mi sento”

September 25, 2020, 12:43 PM · They have a wide audience, very very well trained players, and I think they are generally very funny. A search of this forum might show you that opinions differ on them. Some of their jokes are a bit close to the cuff, but hey ho. It’s entertainment, and nearly 3 million people on YouTube like them.
September 25, 2020, 1:16 PM · Their downside, IMHO, is humor that dips into the sub-sophomoric sometimes and viola-bashing that starts to grate after the first few dozen repetitions. On the other hand I'm at least 40 years too old to be in their target audience. They're indisputably competent violinists, they've introduced some outstanding players of whom I might not have known otherwise, some of their material is genuinely amusing, and once in a while they toss out something truly thought-provoking in passing. I'd call that a net win, and yes, I subscribe to their channel.
September 25, 2020, 1:36 PM · I like them, some of their jokes are cringe worthy, but they do have couple videos that I have watched over and over again. a friend of mine, whom is a serious violinist, went to one of their show before and she had a great time. my teacher also likes them very much.

I first saw one of their video when they were debunking fake violin playing in movies.

September 25, 2020, 2:00 PM · I think they've been caught up in and ground down by the merciless industrial system of producing content online. I remember really liking their old videos that they made for fun, and not out of obligation.

I tuned in for the Tchaik livestream though ^-^

Edited: September 25, 2020, 2:09 PM · Yes, that covers also most of my own thoughts. I have only known them for a short time, but I find them very refreshing; a classical problem is that it is difficult to be very original all the time.
Edited: September 25, 2020, 2:45 PM · As a parent of a tween player it makes her feel she is “in” on something when nearly all her friends have no idea who Mozart is let alone Paganini.
So helps validate her interest and passion. (Even though both these guys must be pushing 30, ther humour seems aimed perfectly at tweens and teens.
September 25, 2020, 3:12 PM · My high school and college students who play stringed instruments find them incredibly amusing.

The majority of people who post on this site are not their target demographic.

September 25, 2020, 7:01 PM · My kids love them. We went to the live show and it was absolutely hysterical. Yes, there are viola jokes, but those are pretty ubiquitous no matter what. I would say the vast majority of their audience is musicians, though.
September 25, 2020, 7:55 PM · With this pandemic, my brain became starved for entertainment. I went through Netflix, Amazon Prime, PBS, HBO, and HULU. On YouTube I'd fallen into the braindead mesmerization of watching dogs get all excited when their masters came home. Then I found TwoSet Violin. Thank God. There is hope for the universe! Those guys are great.
September 25, 2020, 9:01 PM · I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the content they’ve put out. Don’t be fooled, these guys are serious players and musically very clever.
September 25, 2020, 9:25 PM · Some of their humor has become rather stale and repetitive, and much of it was sophomoric to begin with, but all of that is also true of most other famous comedy acts, if you think about it.

Some of their best episodes are where they are giving masterclass-style advice to youngsters who have sent in tapes of their playing. They're actually quite good at that, and they're very supportive and gentle with their criticism, and it's pitched at the right level.

September 25, 2020, 11:51 PM · Some of the earlier videos, such as 16 things all gig musicians have experienced, are dead on accurate.
September 26, 2020, 1:54 AM · I watch about a quarter of their videos, but it's nice that they at least really know what they are talking about, even if sometimes their content is pretty obvious. They should hang out with Frank Yang more.
Edited: September 26, 2020, 2:12 AM · I think they're terrible, but I'm from an era when people trying to be funny weren't laughing about their own jokes all the time. I find that the mark of unprofessional, but I'm clearly wrong since even Jimmy Fallon is laughing at his own jokes all the time.

The idea that kids learning the violin nowadays grow up with these lame-jokesters as their aspirational goal, rather than Julia Fischer or Lisa Batiashvili or Kavakos, is pretty sad. But I guess not all kids are this way.

September 26, 2020, 7:14 AM · Many of the same kids watching and laughing at these guys are
In the next moment watching Heifetz, HH, Vegenerov. The idea it’s either, or,
is just wrong. TwoSets clear worship of these (Fischer, HH esp.) has pushed
many kids towards these players.
September 26, 2020, 7:19 AM · TwoSet also serve as Lingua Franca among the teen and tween players.
My daughter goes to camp and it’s a point of entry and identification for their generation.
That’s not to say I don’t roll my eyes often when the daughter shows me a video. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes formulaic and lame.
September 26, 2020, 9:27 AM · I think they're marvelous. They have a huge number of followers -- mostly non-musicians -- watching videos about violin playing. Some of these people will go to concerts of people they've met on Twoset. Some of these people are going to take up violin playing.

The videos are fun and really quite informative -- usually dealing with real problems that violinists deal with.

If they become tiresome, maybe the trick is not to binge them. Any humor is best enjoyed without overdosing on it.

Edited: September 26, 2020, 12:23 PM · This recent one with Chloe Chua is delightful:

September 26, 2020, 2:42 PM · They are definitely a good thing in the classical world. I have a lot of students who are big fans and if that translates to musical inspiration, that's good.

Their video of classical violin vs. (amorphous) "fiddling" was a little offensive.

September 27, 2020, 4:05 AM · Personally I find them trite and lame. If kids want to watch them, good luck to them! There are worse things on the internet they could be watching.

Cheers Carlo

Edited: September 27, 2020, 10:14 AM · If Shinichi Suzuki were alive, I bet he would jump at the chance to appear on Two Set Violin.
September 27, 2020, 10:50 AM · It may be a cultural thing, but their "oooooh!"s and "ooooooh!"s and "ooooooooh!"s tend to get on my nerves. Where I am from I never hear youngsters do like that.
Edited: September 27, 2020, 11:45 AM · Herman wrote:
" I think they're terrible, but I'm from an era when people trying to be funny weren't laughing about their own jokes all the time. I find that the mark of unprofessional, but I'm clearly wrong since even Jimmy Fallon is laughing at his own jokes all the time.

The idea that kids learning the violin nowadays grow up with these lame-jokesters as their aspirational goal, rather than Julia Fischer or Lisa Batiashvili or Kavakos, is pretty sad. But I guess not all kids are this way."

I have found them highly entertaining, and not all that different from some high-level players who drop their formal stage persona in real life situations, like when going into a violin shop. Some of my best times have been kidding around with high-level players, some of them with such outrageous senses of humor, that I was hard-pressed to keep up.

And the Twoset guys are actually really good players, when they are not putting that aside to satirize one thing or another.

Are there others who are willing to drop priggishness as a presumption of playing skill?

September 28, 2020, 5:30 PM · As somebody who is a teen and has personally gone to one of their shows, I have to say that they have made a HUGE influence on the music community. Two-set have always been known to be a classical duo comedy people who post videos on youtube.

Two-set have helped the classical music world grow in a tremendous way and have been supported by many professionals such as Hilary Hahn and Ray Chen. By calling them "terrible" is a bit extreme to say the lease as that's saying that they are absolutely no good.

Even though they do make memes and joke about the violins, there is plenty of professionalism. They have made countless videos where they show off their playing skills. They play pieces, duos, even orchestral pieces. To say that they aren't "good" isn't a good way of describing them. Heck, Brett even performed Tchaikovsky's VC when they reached 2 million subscribers.

"The idea that kids learning the violin nowadays grow up with these lame-jokesters as their aspirational goal, rather than Julia Fischer or Lisa Batiashvili or Kavakos, is pretty sad. But I guess not all kids are this way." -Herman

I 100% disagree with this statement. Brett and Eddy encourage young and old to listen to these top players. And that's why I like them so much.

Now please, I understand that everyone has their own opinions and I respect that, but understand that they have made a huge impact on the music community and continue to do so in a good way.

September 28, 2020, 6:40 PM · I'm with you, Tyler, and I'm not another teenage saying this. I'm 71. People need to lighten up around here. Some people have been sitting around their houses a little too long. Learn to laugh.
September 29, 2020, 4:14 PM · Gene Wie said:

> This recent one with Chloe Chua is delightful:

Too bad about the damned ads, though. I couldn't make it all the way through. :-(

Edited: September 30, 2020, 12:04 AM ·

Their best is very good.
But the quantity is starting to outweigh the quality, so that being selective is becoming harder for the viewer. Otoh, I think I generally have a problem with working out how to organise Youtube videos. Maybe if I could select all their material and put it in date order, that would be useful.

Edited: September 30, 2020, 2:08 AM · "With this pandemic, my brain became starved for entertainment."
Earlier in the year I managed all of Xena, Buffy, The X Files, Twin Peaks and Heimat 1 and 2.
I couldn't face the complete BBC Shakespeare after that, lol!
Recently I'm glad of a rest from all that and watch repeats of Midsomer Murders (an English thang).
October 1, 2020, 9:05 AM · I love twoset. In fact, I put down my violin for a over a decade. Then I discovered twoset last year and kept watching their old videos. They have inspired me to pick up my violin again. I got my violin re serviced early this year right when COVID started. What a timing!

Their videos are mostly light hearted and I just treat them as an entertainment. But sometimes they give us serious playing. I still go back to their Tchaikovsky stream from time to time!

October 1, 2020, 12:27 PM · Gordon - Midsomer Murders is one of my favorite series out there - though I've watched ALL of it so often that I'm taking a break :-)

I am far from the target demographic for twoset - but I still enjoy them. Perhaps not everything - I stopped watching them for a while as they went over the top with anti-viola jokes (they still do that but not to the same degree). I have been impressed at how often they encourage their targeted audience to listen/expose themselves to all of the greats, both violinists and composers.

I watched an older video in the last couple of days where they compared the changes in interpretation between the 50's-60's and the 21st century. They approached it seriously, and pointed out that they were inspired by Heifetz and the rest in their early years.

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