SSM

Do all Stradivarii sound the same?

Recommended Posts

Disregarding whether ther are any actual differences in the sound made, I wonder if knowing that they are playing a strad enhances the way a violinist plays?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Disregarding whether ther are any actual differences in the sound made, I wonder if knowing that they are playing a strad enhances the way a violinist plays?

I wouldn't be at all surprised. Some of them, at least, do seem to be very attached to their own fiddles. We once went to a concert which included one of the big concertos (I'm remembering Tchaikovsky, Proms, Leonard Slatkin and Maxim Vengerov but the Proms records are very complete and bizarrely not even two of Tchaik/Slatkin/Vengerov have ever come together* - so much for memory !). Anyway some way in Vengerov (let's say) is giving it the beans - a bit like 17:15 onwards here

[video=youtube;IhjwbIwGOQg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhjwbIwGOQg

and a string snaps. Faster than the eye can see he grabs the fiddle out of the hands of the leader of the orchestra and continues playing on that. But he only plays 2-3 bars before he decides it's somehow 'not right', stops playing, puts his hands up and the orchestra shuts down. Professional that he is, Slatkin turns to the audience, explains what's happened, has a couple of words with Vengerov and then says he's going to have to fill in for a few minutes while Vengerov re-strings, including waiting for the new string to settle in. In all this takes 5 mins plus, which Slatkin fills very entertainingly with funny stories and reminiscences. But Vengerov must have loved his own fiddle very much. After all he's just generated a major disruption when he could instead have played on for a bit using the leader's instrument (surely it wasn't that awful ?) while the leader re-strung his. But no, it seems having the right one really did matter.

VB

*EDIT - Wrong. 2002 first night was Slatkin and Vengerov. That wasn't the gig though. To start with I've never been to a first night. And the second half of this one was Belshazzar with Willard White. I have seen him do that, but only once and in Oxford. Unforgettable is too small a word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Even if past blind tests have been inconclusive in proving the superiority of Stradivarius instruments, people still believe in every violin having unique traits, like your friend. Its no wonder leading violinists ply their trade using celebrated Stradivarii or Guarnerii.

SS

I don't know solid. He is a 'master craftsman' of the old school...I'm just repeating something I heard.

I don't find it hard however, to understand how any two pieces of timber would vibrate differently.:dunno:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No.

An excellent and succinct answer, indicating your considerable knowledge of this intricate and technical subject. Clearly also this is a product of your ability to condense what would have been an almost excruciatingly long treatise into a single word. :)

PS I have taken it up on my self to bestow this masterpiece of brevity with the award of some reputation points. I do this on behalf of Chumpy's adoring public, and the wider academic village.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing to do with stradivarii but didnt know where else to put it.

I know SSM - and many here- is a big fun of the Diva (as I am).

24/96 downloads plus exclusive bonus CD

C1-Maria-Callas-remastered.jpg

Every single Maria Callas studio recording, remastered at

Abbey Road Studios on Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series speakers

and available as exclusive, high definition downloads from

Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound.

http://www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk/Society_of_Sound/Society_of_Sound/Maria-Callas?utm_source=Bowers+%26+Wilkins&utm_campaign=5c257184aa-Maria_Callas_Remastered%2BbonusCD_9_17_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_22ec1c80b7-5c257184aa-49975693

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

ChrisB, that got me looking in my vinyl Classical section, where I found this, bought from a charity shop some years ago.

0825646340996.jpg

It'll be getting played later.

Went to see Madame B some years ago, with the missus & her best friend Melody.

They cried their eyes out nearly all the way through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting that no one has yet to mention the players contribution to the sound. To my mind, and it seems well established in guitar circles(be it electric or bass), it is the player that has the largest effect on the tones being produced via an instrument.

For example if you took bass virtuoso Marcus Miller who normally plays his signature Fender bass or a Fedora costing thousands of £s, yet give him a £200 Squire and despite the huge difference in the type of woods used, quality of constuction, string types, electronics used, he would still sound very very similar.

Now an accoustic instrument shouldnt be any different, in fact if anything, it should be more pronounced as there are less things to contribute to the overall output.

So for those hearing differences on their records of various violins, just remember that a player will have a signature tone as well as an instrument...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An excellent and succinct answer, indicating your considerable knowledge of this intricate and technical subject. Clearly also this is a product of your ability to condense what would have been an almost excruciatingly long treatise into a single word. :)

PS I have taken it up on my self to bestow this masterpiece of brevity with the award of some reputation points. I do this on behalf of Chumpy's adoring public, and the wider academic village.

It's a shocking post by Chumpy. When I first saw it, I thought where my magnifying glass? Maybe he wrote several more words and ///s, but in small font between the N and O.:D

Then I realized he actually meant 'No'. :notworthy: I agree, this one is a masterpiece.

SS:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris-greek, 'angelic' is not an adjective one associates with Callas' voice. Tebaldi's maybe.

But that new photo of La Divina. Modern touchup techniques makes it look as if it was taken yesterday. Spooky.

(Maybe, they will remaster the 'Medea' movie someday.)

Chris-hear, I read your 'player' explanation with interest.:^

SS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the OP ----

Very interesting that no one has yet to mention the players contribution to the sound. To my mind, and it seems well established in guitar circles(be it electric or bass), it is the player that has the largest effect on the tones being produced via an instrument. ...

{quote inserted after strop by Chris/hib}

I recall seeing a video clip of a Master Class given by Heifetz.

The Maestro plays a short piece on his own violin (probably a Strad) and it sounds lush and fabulous.

Young female student then plays the same music on her own (serviceable but commonplace) violin - scrawny and thin sounds emerge.

Heifetz tut-tuts - young female student indicates (boldly!) what do you expect with the difference in violins?

Heifetz reaches out to take student's commonplace violin - "no no, maestro - you cannot lower yourself to play on this awful instrument" she says, horrified.

Heifetz takes it anyway and plays the same music again, this time on the naff violin - it sounds lush and fabulous.

Young violinist looks utterly devastated, Heifetz passes the 'naff' violin back with a bit of a sneer --- I think she must have given up all hope at that point. :P

So, it ain't what you got, it's the way that you use it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Back to the OP ----

I recall seeing a video clip of a Master Class given by Heifetz.

The Maestro plays a short piece on his own violin (probably a Strad) and it sounds lush and fabulous.

Young female student then plays the same music on her own (serviceable but commonplace) violin - scrawny and thin sounds emerge.

Heifetz tut-tuts - young female student indicates (boldly!) what do you expect with the difference in violins?

Heifetz reaches out to take student's commonplace violin - "no no, maestro - you cannot lower yourself to play on this awful instrument" she says, horrified.

Heifetz takes it anyway and plays the same music again, this time on the naff violin - it sounds lush and fabulous.

Young violinist looks utterly devastated, Heifetz passes the 'naff' violin back with a bit of a sneer --- I think she must have given up all hope at that point. :P

So, it ain't what you got, it's the way that you use it. :)

Try to keep up Jerry(see post #25) ;-)

Nice that you are able to provide evidence to support my stance though. :^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Try to keep up Jerry(see post #25) ;-)

Nice that you are able to provide evidence to support my stance though. :^

Whoops, yes, I had intended to quote you at the start of my post. :doh:

Here you are then, credit where it's due ...

Very interesting that no one has yet to mention the players contribution to the sound. To my mind, and it seems well established in guitar circles(be it electric or bass), it is the player that has the largest effect on the tones being produced via an instrument. ...

I'll edit my original post as well. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.