‘Faking is perfectly acceptable, provided the player’s conscience can deal with it’: Letters to the Editor April 2022

LOTM Orchestra Royal Conservatoire The Hague © Alex Schröder 811_4004

A selection of letters The Strad receives each month from its readers around the world: April 2022 issue

Fake it ’til you make it

In response to online editor Davina Shum’s blog on orchestral faking (bit.ly/3pptqu2), I believe that Oscar Shumsky actually taught a course on faking. Under the proper circumstances, faking is perfectly acceptable, provided the player’s conscience can deal with it, as mine can. If your sense of honesty and honour can’t deal with it, then practise your heart out on passages that will never be heard, whether in a hall or in the studio. In a section of 22 or 26 fiddles (perhaps fewer), one can fake even delicately transparent Mozart and Beethoven passages, although this would be uncalled for since all that stuff is pretty easy to play. If you are further back than the second desk you can get away with it, but anywhere nearer the conductor is an invitation to be dismissed, especially if the conductor happens to be an ex-string player. I encourage everyone to learn to fake, but only when necessary. Choose wisely. It is better to fake intelligently and stay in rhythm than to try to play every note and mess things up. This is where a thorough knowledge of harmony pays off. If you do it well, not even your stand partner will know.

JAIME HERRERA

El Paso, TX, US

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.

 

* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.