All Features articles – Page 5

  • Scrolls
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    Pöpel and Kurzendörffer: The Mists of Time Demystified


    Just three Vogtland instruments exist from before 1700. All violas, they were made by two of the founders of the region’s first violin making guild. Klaus Martius  explores what we know about the mysterious Johann Adam Pöpel and Johann Adam Kurzendörffer

  • Fiona Bonds - Associate Principal Viola [378]
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    Academy of St Martin in the Fields at 60: One Big Family


    The Academy of St Martin in the Fields celebrates its 60th anniversary this season with a 60-CD box set of its celebrated recordings, and tours to Europe and the US. Toby Deller speaks to some of the orchestra’s long-standing string players about working together democratically and the artistic transition ...

  • Photo B Menut25 (c) Aurianne Skybyk
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    Session Report: A Voyage of Discovery


    French composer Benoît Menut’s new concept album of songs and chamber works takes its listeners on a single, continuous journey across the sea. He and cellist Patrick Langot speak to Tom Stewart about the project

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    Béla Katona: A Pupil’s Perspective


    Former Béla Katona student Dona Lee Croft, now a professor, recalls her lessons with the Hungarian pedagogue

  • T7611_Jeno Hubay, Hungarian violinist, composer and music teacher and pupils c 1934-5
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    Béla Katona: A Teacher Through and Through


    One of the 20th century’s greatest violin pedagogues, Béla Katona would have turned 100 this month. Tully Potter charts his life and career, and speaks to former pupils – mainly at London’s Trinity College of Music – about the success of his teaching methods

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    Pablo Casals: Boundless Expression


    The legacy of Pablo Casals is alive and well in the cello playing of today – and can be traced primarily to the methods of his colleague Diran Alexanian and favourite student Maurice Eisenberg. Oskar Falta explores the Catalonian cellist’s main vibrato theories, as communicated by his two important ...

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    Chinese Tonewoods: Interesting Times


    For luthiers worldwide, European wood is still viewed as the best for making stringed instruments – even though China’s forests are filled with high-quality spruce and maple. Xue Peng presents the results of a study comparing the tonewoods of China and Europe, with some startling conclusions

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    Session Report: Freedom of Choice


    For Jack Liebeck, recording the Brahms and Schoenberg violin concertos has felt like a homecoming – a chance to reflect on the life of his grandfather, and to appreciate the liberties we enjoy today, as he tells Harry White    

  • Fig_4_Cork Stretching
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    William C. Honeyman: The People’s Violin Man


    During the 19th century there was an upsurge of interest in violin playing in Britain. At its centre, writes Kevin MacDonald , was the Scottish violinist and writer William C. Honeyman – purveyor of string secrets to the masses and perhaps the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes

  • Karen and Kim
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    Karen Tuttle: The Violists’ Champion


    Violists, particularly in the US, regard Karen Tuttle as a pioneer of pedagogy, tirelessly committed to improving the playing freedom of her students. As this month marks the 100th anniversary of her birth, Carlos María Solare pays tribute to her career, teaching methods and formidable strength of character

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    Isabelle Faust: clarity and insight


    German violinist Isabelle Faust is known for the precision and intelligence of her performances. She talks to Amanda Holloway about how her new album of Mozart sonatas has brought her face to face with the enigma of the composer’s musical language

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    Pekka Kuusisto, a green violinist


    Elegy for the Forest , Pekka Kuusisto’s short film made in collaboration with Greenpeace, aims to build awareness of deforestation. He speaks to Peter Quantrill about combining art and activism

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    Pressenda: Combined impact


    Despite his instruments showing very little difference in form, Giovanni Francesco Pressenda was one of the most idiosyncratic – and innovative – Italian luthiers of the 19th century. Drawing on 20 years of research, Tsutomu Miyasaka reveals how his style reflected both the French and Italian makers of his day ...

  • nagyvary 5
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    Fingerboards: The lighter option


    While the acoustics of the violin soundbox have undergone rigorous testing, the neck and fingerboard have been virtually ignored. Joseph Nagyvary reveals the results of experiments showing that a lighter material might be preferable to the standard ebony

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    The singing, humming, whistling, hollering, growling, storytelling bassist


    During the past half-century many works have been written for vocalising double bassists. Lisa Mezzacappa delves into this highly creative phenomenon

  • persoit 3
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    Persoit, the illusion solution


    One of the most mysterious French bow makers, Persoit had a number of idiosyncrasies that give his works a uniquely light appearance. Through a detailed study of a single bow, Paolo Sarri shows his creative answer to the problem of bulky heads

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    Tan Dun and Eldbjørg Hemsing: the folk connection


    Chinese composer Tan Dun’s new concerto for Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing draws on traditions common to the homelands of both artists. Andrew Mellor speaks to them about this latest in a series of collaborations

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    The gain in Spain: German makers in Naples


    In the 16th century, many European cities saw an influx of makers from Germany – and the cultural milieu and civic policies of Spanish-held Naples proved particularly attractive. Luigi Sisto explains how the expatriate community laid the groundwork for the city’s lutherie tradition

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    At the dawn of it all: making in Füssen


    Nowadays best known for its neo-Gothic castles, the town of Füssen in southern Germany has possibly the oldest lutherie tradition of any in the country. Thomas Riedmillertraces its influence, from the foothills of the Alps to England, Vienna and Prague

  • Beethoven Around the World - film stills - 025
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    Ébène Quartet: The Freedom of Instability


    Currently making international appearances to mark Beethoven’s 250th birthday as well as celebrating 20 years since its foundation, the Ébène Quartet is riding high now that violist Marie Chilemme has become an established member. But, the players tell Charlotte Gardner, replacing former violist Mathieu Herzog was no easy matter following ...