All Features articles – Page 2

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    CT-Scanning the ‘Messiah’


    In 2016 the ‘Messiah’ Stradivari was the subject of an extensive CT scanning project. Francesco Piasentini and Gregg Alf examine the resulting data, discovering repair work in the neck, and attempt to determine how it had originally been set

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    George Neikrug: Memories of a legend


    Cellist George Neikrug, who died in 2019 at the age of 100, was a celebrated performer and orchestral principal. However, his skills as a pedagogue were second to none, writes University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor Benjamin Whitcomb, who has gathered personal recollections

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    Basic Maintenance: Avoiding instrument carnage


    Luthiers often see the same basic problems when repairing instruments – and most of them could be solved by some simple care and attention from the players themselves. Korinthia Klein presents a simple guide to violin maintenance, without encroaching on the experts’ territory

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    Two-fingered Tchaikovsky: Beating the odds


    Despite losing the function of the third and fourth fingers of his left hand through focal dystonia and a shoulder injury, violinist Clayton Haslop was determined to continue playing. Here he shares his story

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    Session Report: Right place, right time


    For Renaud Capuçon, recording Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle was a dream come true – and one that he couldn’t allow to be derailed by Covid-19’s lockdown restrictions, as he tells Charlotte Gardner

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    1734 Stradivari violin ‘Willemotte’: Late… but worth the wait


    Made when Antonio Stradivari was 90 years old, the 1734 ‘Willemotte’ bears all his hallmarks including a deep, complex tone quality. Sam Zygmuntowicz examines the violin and compares its design features with other gems of the great master 

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    Vieuxtemps cadenzas: Following the clues


    The recent discovery of another cadenza to the first movement of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, likely by Vieuxtemps, sheds an interesting light on the early performance history of the work, writes Martin Wulfhorst 

  • 5. Magnus Johnston (front) with Navarra Quartet
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    Teaching chamber music: light-bulb moments


    Giving formal chamber music training to students during their school years is vital for fostering a lifelong commitment to the art, writes Graham Oppenheimer , senior chamber music tutor at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester

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    Session Report: No holds barred


    For Amandine Beyer and her Gli Incogniti period ensemble, the string symphonies of C.P.E. Bach represented an opportunity to record difficult but exhilarating repertoire. Charlotte Gardner recalls attending the 2019 sessions, as the album nears its release following Covid-19 delays 

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    The viola d’amore: For a sympathetic ear


    The viola d’amore is undergoing a resurgence in popularity among early music groups, with a wealth of repertoire still to be rediscovered. Rachael Durkin tracks the development of this unique instrument, examining its many precursors along the way

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    Evolving interpretations: The long and winding road


    The development of the great violinists from fresh young artists to profound musical thinkers can be charted through their recorded interpretations. Nathaniel Vallois uses his time in lockdown to examine changes in the playing style of some of the best-known names

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    Dover Quartet: United in sound


    After twelve years together, the Dover Quartet is marking its graduation to the ranks of mature ensembles with a new Beethoven recording cycle and a residency at the Curtis Institute. The players speak to Charlotte Smith from the Bravo! Vail Music Festival

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    The Spice of Life: Teaching different styles


    Too often string teachers shy away from embracing styles outside the Western classical canon, but in doing so they’re ignoring a wealth of useful skills and techniques, not to mention repertoire, writes Julie Lyonn Lieberman

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    Carlo Bisiach: Dispatches from the front line


    Gennady Filimonov examines the letters between Carlo Bisiach (1892–1968) and his American representative Leo D. Larsson, which provide a fascinating perspective on the violin trade in the 1930s and 40s, as well as an insight into the Italian luthier’s working methods

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    Leonard Rose: All about the bow


    American cellist Leonard Rose was a consummate performer and pedagogue, whose velvety tone was the result of complete mastery of the bow arm. Oskar Falta explores some of his bowing theories and speaks to former students about his teaching techniques

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    Hollywood Bow Makers: Unsung heroes of the silver screen


    Lasting from the late 1920s to 1960, Hollywood’s golden age was a boom time for musicians, and those who catered for them. Raphael Gold tells the stories of some of the era’s best-regarded LA bow makers, and reveals why their work should be better known today

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    Session Report: American dreams


    On his latest album, German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann devotes himself to the works of Bohuslav Martinů and Béla Bartók, two immigrants to the US in the wake of the Second World War, as Tom Stewart reports

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    Midori: Active Listener


    From getting to the core of new works to appreciating her students’ motivations, Midori is on a constant search for understanding. Toby Deller finds out how the Japanese-American violinist communicates this passion to those around her

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    Ensemble Diderot: Hidden Gems


    This month Ensemble Diderot releases The Berlin Album, the latest in its ‘cities’ recording series, juxtaposing works by established 17th- and 18th-century composers alongside those of lesser-known contemporaries. Ensemble founder and violinist Johannes Pramsohler speaks to Pwyll ap Siôn about why these works deserve greater attention

  • Paolo Sorgentone
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    Empty Chairs at Empty Tables: Lutherie and Covid-19


    Violin makers worldwide were hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak as the customers dried up – nowhere more so than in Italy. Peter Somerford speaks to makers in Cremona, Florence and Modena to find out how the industry is gradually getting back on its feet