All Features articles – Page 6

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    Vuillaume's Early Years: The Making of a Master


    Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume was the most successful French luthier of his time, but the first years of his career are still shrouded in mystery. Jonathan Marolle examines some of his earliest instruments to uncover the evolution of his technique and style 

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    Itamar Zornam, voice for Israel


    Violinist Itamar Zorman’s new recording highlights the transition from European to Middle Eastern influences in the works of Paul Ben-Haim, as he tells Gavin Dixon

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    Jerry Horner: A Virtuoso Teacher


    In February last year, former Fine Arts Quartet violist Jerry Horner died at the age of 83. China Conservatory of Music violin professor and past Horner student James Dickenson reflects on the career and teaching legacy of a fine mentor, drawing on interviews with Horner’s students and colleagues, and ...

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    Michel Collichon: The Magnificent Ten


    Just a handful of instruments by Michel Collichon have survived to the present day – but they demonstrate the skill and techniques of a master innovator. With a tenth example recently identified, Shem Mackey explains the appeal of the 17th-century viol maker to modern-day luthiers

  • AFCM14.1101_copyright Andrew Rankin
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    Retirement from Performance: A Change of Pace


    Is there a time when we should admit defeat, acknowledge our age and put our instruments away for good? Or is it possible to keep enjoying, playing and sharing music forever? Pauline Harding talks to musicians young and old about falling standards, failing physiques and a joy of playing music ...

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    Alfred Staar: sound master


    As a leading proponent of the Viennese sound, Alfred Staar’s influence continues to be felt today – no fewer than 22 of his former students currently hold posts in the Vienna Philharmonic. Inga Brandini shares a conversation with the great professor from 15 March 2000, shortly before his death a ...

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    Jacob Stainer: reviewing the situation


    It has long been assumed that Jacob Stainer received some training in Cremona – but the theory rests on slim evidence. Rudolf Hopfner explores a middle-period violin using micro-CT technology to cast doubt on what we think we knowWolfgang Schneiderhan

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    Augustin Hadelich: brilliant concepts


    Since winning the Indianapolis Competition in 2006, violinist Augustin Hadelich has built a reputation for musically astute interpretations in wide-ranging repertoire, much of it written in the 20th and 21st centuries. He speaks to Chloe Cutts about his latest recording – an unusual pairing of Brahms and Ligeti

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    Yoga and string playing: …And breathe…


    There is a close connection between yogic principles and string playing technique, says cellist Ruth Phillips, who illustrates this with postures chosen in collaboration with her colleague Jane Fenton, and reveals how both Pablo Casals and yoga guru Vanda Scaravelli have informed her musical ideas

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    Session report: zooming in on Beethoven


    Trio con Brio Copenhagen is marking its 20th anniversary by recording the complete Beethoven piano trios. Andrew Mellor attends a session for the group’s third volume, including the monumental ‘Archduke’

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    Standing Strong: Shostakovich’s violin works


    Fifty years ago David Oistrakh premiered Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata, written for the violinist’s 60th birthday. Only two further works by Shostakovich for solo violinist survive: the concertos, both for Oistrakh. Andrew Morris examines all three pieces, uncovering their interpretative challenges in conversation with Gidon Kremer, Julia Fischer and Vadim Gluzman ...

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    Stradivari’s moulds: Variations on a theme


    Twelve violin moulds from Antonio Stradivari’s workshop still survive, but how do they correspond to the master’s oeuvre? In the first of two articles,Philip Ihle and Andrea Zanrè present the results of an exhaustive survey to match forms to finished instruments

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    Stradivari’s corners: Music of the spheres


    The publication of high-accuracy violin photography has opened up new possibilities for researching Cremonese masterpieces up close and en masse. Philip Ihle examines Antonio Stradivari’s purfling corners across 136 examples and reveals their relationship with the luthier’s forms

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    Shanghai Quartet: Musical Emissaries


    The Shanghai Quartet celebrates its 35th anniversary during the 2018–19 season by performing eight complete Beethoven cycles around the world. The players speak to Charlotte Smith about forming at a time when Western chamber music was barely understood in their native China, and about promoting the art form to Chinese ...

  • Rachel Podger
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    ‘You have to give yourself over to this painful journey’


    Complex, knotty, cryptic – the treacherous elements of Biber’s Rosary Sonatas are a rite of passage for Baroque violinists and their instruments alike. Rachel Podger, who joins a long list of early music specialists to record the work, talks to Philip Clark about how she and her violin survived the ...

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    Three Lives in One


    Yehudi Menuhin’s extraordinarily multifaceted life and career more than surpassed the traditional role of the solo concert violinist. Here friends, family and colleagues who knew him, studied with him and worked alongside him describe their association with and memories of the great man

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    Expanding the limits


    Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili has recently taken on new challenges, among them artistic directorship of the Audi Summer Concerts festival and performing on the soundtrack to The White Crow . But, she tells Toby Deller , she finds equal joy in creating wonderful interpretations from long-term partnerships 

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    Seeing red


    Madder root has been used since ancient times to provide a deep red pigment – but the process of making it remains mysterious. For the past three years Hugh Withycombe and Guy Harrison have tested different methods to get the recipe just right – and can now reveal their findings ...

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    Growing pains


    Violinist and Ohio State University professor of music education Bob Gillespie has taught countless teenage string players. Here he explores adolescent character traits, and shares with teachers his valuable guide to dealing with adolescent moods and logic 

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    On the borders of greatness


    Giuseppe Sgarbi’s instruments have a unique vibrancy and individuality, while still respecting the traditional Cremonese forms. Lorenzo Frignani examines his career, as well as that of his son Antonio, to suggest why his work deserves more recognition than it has in the past