All Features articles

  • T20293_Julian Lloyd Webber, English cellist with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Sir Yehudi Menuhin for recording of Elgar Concerto, July 1985
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    Julian Lloyd Webber: A glittering career


    In celebration of his 70th birthday last month, British cellist Julian Lloyd Webber shares with Julian Haylock memories of a long and fulfilling professional life – and also looks forward to returning to the stage as a conductor

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    Azzo Rovescalli: The cream of Crema


    The city of Crema has a unique violin making tradition, and Azzo Rovescalli was its most prominent maker in the 20th century – even though it never made him rich. Lorenzo Frignani and Vittorio Formaggia examine his life and work, along with the instruments of his sons

  • B&W_Pekka_Kuusisto_-┬«FelixBroede_20170119-1
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    Encores: Time to shine


    Throughout much of the last century, technically showy encores by Paganini and Kreisler were standard fare for violinists, but in recent years players have moved away from the established virtuoso works to embrace everything from solo Bach to folk tunes and contemporary commissions. Charlotte Gardner talks to top players about ...

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    Session Report: Playing the hero


    Violinist Boris Begelman’s new recording represents a small fraction of the hundreds of violin concertos Vivaldi wrote during his lifetime – but people miss the point when they assume the composer’s prolific output equates to works of lesser quality, he tells Tom Stewart

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    Ysaÿe: On the trail of a trio


    The discovery of part of an autograph manuscript for Ysaÿe’s little-known Second String Trio op.34 hidden in a folder on his computer led violinist Nandor Szederkényi eventually to produce a performing edition. Here he shares details of the painstaking process

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    Tracing the truth: Stradivari’s early cellos


    What cello moulds were used in the Stradivari workshop? The question has long gone unanswered, despite the number of artefacts – and even intact moulds – that survive. Philip Ihle examines 17 of the cellos made before 1700 to find out how many moulds may have been used before the ...

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    Song of the gut string makers


    In 1877, Markneukirchen in Germany was at the heart of the world’s string making industry. The townsfolk were so proud, they even composed a drinking song all about it. Kai Köpp explains what the lyrics (translated into English for the first time) reveal about this convoluted process

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    Strings and Piano: a sound balance


    Producing a nuanced, well-balanced and blended combination of piano and strings can be a difficult performance feat to achieve. Pauline Harding talks to chamber musicians, soloists and teachers to discover some of their secrets

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    David Garrett: His own path


    At the age of 40, German–American violinist David Garrett is a bona fide crossover star, in non-Covid times playing regularly to thousands at sold-out arena shows. But, as he tells Charlotte Smith, he has no intention of deserting his classical roots

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    Ludwig Bausch: Gone… but not forgotten


    Respected during his lifetime, Ludwig Bausch was almost unknown just a few years after his death – and his bows were considered unremarkable junk. Josef P. Gabriel reveals why the maker and his family were almost lost to history, and why his work deserves to be listed among the greats ...

  • T613_Eudice Shapiro, American violinist
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    Two Shapiros: musical doubles


    Though unrelated by birth, US violinists Eudice Shapiro and Frances Shapiro (later Magnes) forged parallel careers which provide a fascinating insight into the lives of female musicians during the mid-20th century, writes Tully Potter

  • Janusz Wawrowski, Grzegorz Nowak and Anna Barry (recording producer)fot. Agencja Artystyczna PRESTO
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    Session Report: Shining a light


    Polish virtuoso Janusz Wawrowski’s new arrangement of Ludomir Różycki’s Violin Concerto reveals a far more optimistic work than its wartime origins suggest, writes Harry White

  • T4719_Joseph Segal, Josef Hassid, Ivry Gitlis, Edward Michael, Carl Flesch,Thomas Matthews, Keteno
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    Ivry Gitlis: an individual voice


    When Ivry Gitlis died on Christmas Eve last year at the age of 98 there was an outpouring of love and affection from the musical community. Tully Potter pays tribute to the great violinist’s life and career

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    Astor Piazzolla: a tango phenomenon


    In celebration of the 100th anniversary of renowned tango composer Astor Piazzolla’s birth this month, Argentine violinists Rafael Gintoli and Gabriela Olcese pay tribute to him and offer basic guidance to violinists on how to interpret tango music

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    Lutherie Dynasties: a family affair


    In this globalised era, there are still many families that keep up their strong lutherie traditions, with parents passing on their secrets and skills to the next generation. Peter Somerford asks how such formative influences can affect their craft, for better or for worse

  • Andris Nelsons at Tanglewood (Hilary Scott)
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    Orchestral Tricks: in plain sight


    Gerald Elias has spent many years as a professional orchestral violinist – in the Boston SO and Utah Symphony – and has been music director of Salt Lake City’s Vivaldi by Candlelight chamber orchestra since 2004. Here he explores some of the universal challenges faced by orchestral string players which ...

  • Engegård Quartet_052_foto Richard Smallwood
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    Session Report: in good time


    The Engegård Quartet’s third album of Mozart string quartets was all about timing – from allowing enough space between learning and recording the works, to faithfully honouring the composer’s tempo markings – as Andrew Mellor discovers

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    Lutherie in China: the enterprise system


    China has become a world leader in stringed instrument making, based on a system of bulk production combined with respect for craftsmanship. Sisi Ye speaks to the heads of manufacturing firms in Pinggu, Queshan and Huangqiao to learn more

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    Francesca Dego: chance of a lifetime


    For Italian violinist Francesca Dego, the opportunity to perform and record on Paganini’s ‘Il Cannone’ Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ of 1743 was a dream come true. She shares with Tom Stewart her experiences with the rarely accessed instrument – which came complete with security guards and its own dressing room

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    Modigliani Quartet: the more the merrier


    For the Modigliani Quartet, working with other artists has always been a priority – one that continues this year as the group turns its attention to Schubert. Charlotte Gardner speaks to the French foursome about their early development, working through Covid times and acting as artistic directors