A French focus led by the Arod Quartet discussing how making a successful career as a foursome takes more than first-rate playing

February 2018 issue

The Strad February 2018 issue is out now, with a focus on French musicians and lutherie led by an interview with the Arod Quartet, in which the four young members reveal that making a successful career as a foursome takes more than just first-rate playing.

Legendary jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty talks about improvisation, Stéphane Grappelli, and his new-found love for classical repertoire; in our Session Report, Antoine Tamestit tells us about the gestation of his latest recording, comprising three works by Jörg Widmann; and we survey Debussy's five chamber works for strings and talk to some of their top current exponents.

Matt Wehling presents a detailed examination of one of François Xavier Tourte's c.1790 bows – and what it tells us about this transformative period in his life; Serge and Florent Boyer examine the development of Lupot contemporary Jean-François Aldric's style across eight instruments; and our Postcard comes from the inaugural Harmonia Nova festival in Avignon.

In our regular sections:

In Focus features Guilhermina Suggia's Stradivari cello; Christian Bayon explains how he adapted the bass-bar to improve tone quality in Trade Secrets; My Space features the workshop of Bulgarian luthier Petko Petkov; plus François Denis analyses the distance between an instrument's strings in Making Matters.

In our monthly Masterclass, Arabella Steinbacher gives her thoughts on the opening of Ravel's Tzigane; cellist Amit Peledcreates emojis as an aid to practice in Technique; violinist Lisa Batiashvili tells us her Life Lessons; plus Gary Karr on his passion for Koussevitzky's Double Bass Concerto in Sentimental Work.