View Full Version : Does anyone here follow classical music and people like Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell?

Nov 16th, 2002, 05:24 PM
Being that I play the violin I know who these people are.I 've been to the philharmonic a few times and about a week ago I had the chance to see cellist Wendy Warner who supposedly is the 3rd or fourth premier cellist in the world. Does anyone else follow these people?It was cool when I got to see wendy because she was rehearsing and the rehearsals ae usuall y closed but about 8 peopl efrom my school went because our teacher knows people there.

Nov 16th, 2002, 05:26 PM
Well, I have seen Perlman in Concert! Magnificent

King Satan
Nov 16th, 2002, 08:17 PM
I don't know who those kats are, but happen to love classical music. Especially Paganini, that kat totally ruled the earth lol

It's kinda hard (understatement) trying to learn his work on guitar.

I think I'm gonna try to get tickets to see some of those kats your talking about.

Nov 17th, 2002, 09:31 AM
Well, I have been a violin concertist in my young age, and performed in several of Paris's main concert halls, so I do know Perlman and Bell. I haven't met them (well, not musically, that is). On the other hand, I played for Henryk Szeryng and Yehudi Menuhin (unquestionably one of the best moments of my life).

For those who have never seen and heard Perlman, he suffered from poliomyelitis when he was still an infant and thus plays seated on a chair. But he has tremendous energy and certainly knows how to convey it. His sound is round, albeit a bit acid at times, and warm. A very interesting experience is to play a bit with one of his recordings. When you stop the record player, there is still something of his vibrato left on your hand! He is not always the deepest, most refined and elegant violinist, but he is very good in virtuosic works, Slavic and obviously Jewish-inspired music. Try his CD of Goldmark's Violin Concerto, a sheer delight, the best version of that work alongside with Milstein's (less exhilarating but incomparably noble). For the record, Perlman can be heard in Spielberg's movie "Schindler's List" and, shortly, seen and heard at the beginning of Woody Allen's "Everybody Says I Love You"...

As for Joshua Bell, he is younger, and adds some variety to the US violin landscape. While most US soloists have graduated from Juilliard School in NYC, Bell studied in Bloomington, Indiana, which many consider the best alternative to Juilliard in the USA (I considered spending some time there). He has smooth tone and a very unusual violin with no edges - look at a picture of it to see what I mean. He recently made a refreshing recording of Bernstein's "West Side Story" (excerpts arranged for violin and orchestra).

However, my favourite violinists of all time are Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, David Oistrakh,... Kreisler was simply magical in his own particular way. Don't believe those who say that today's violinists are technically better. Their playing may be cleaner, more even, but unfortunately much more standardized as well. Older virtuosi had found countless shades and subtleties which they can't even hear, much less achieve with their instruments. And very few are humanists and fully-fledged musicians as Menuhin or Milstein were.

Nov 17th, 2002, 09:38 AM
you played for Yehudi Menuhin??? OMG you must have been a child prodegy or something.
I love Perlman, he used to give guest show appearances on the Israeli sesamy (sesamie?) street... he's the nicest guy. loves kids. he taught the Israeli version of "big bird" (a giant, pink, porqeupine(sp, sp, sp) about the violin:). I used to love watching him ,I didn't even know he was famous untill my mom told me.

Nov 17th, 2002, 09:45 AM
"Porcupine", I think http://perso.club-internet.fr/ttle/tennis/smileglass.gif
I think that Perlman was the first major soloist to be born and raised in Israel (well, actually he was born in 1945). He obviously loves life, good food, good wine, and thus he does look like a good giant!
I played for Menuhin when I was 17. That's when he chose me to be a Laureate of his Foundation. I don't think that anything could have made me prouder

Nov 17th, 2002, 10:00 AM
do you still play? you have to be awfully good to be chosen like that.
(you do realize perlman wasn't a porcupine, do you? he TAUGHT Kipi the porcupine how to hold a violin)

Nov 17th, 2002, 10:11 AM
Good grief. I thought that he was the porcupine. But he is a giant himself, you know!
Do I still play? Well, I have started playing again lately. Hopefully I haven't only aged, but also matured... Recently I bought a wonderful anthology of Yiddish melodies for violin and piano. There is one called Almonds and Raisins (Mandeln mit Rozhinkes, iirc), a lullaby full of sensibility.

Nov 17th, 2002, 10:22 AM
why did you stop in the first place?

Nov 17th, 2002, 10:32 AM
Oooooh! Long story. I'll have to go to lunch first... http://perso.club-internet.fr/ttle/tennis/shy.gif

Nov 17th, 2002, 10:34 AM
ok. but I'll be waiting for it when you come back! :)

Nov 17th, 2002, 12:28 PM
So - the problem for a violinist, at the time when I completed my studies at the Paris Conservatory, was the following. Either I wanted to be a solist (and chamber music player), or I wished to play in an orchestra. Having always been interested in conceiving my "own" interpretations, or at least seeking the composer's intent by myself, I felt more like trying to be a solist. Unfortunately, in that case, I had to work with concert agents. Concert agents have never been musicians themselves (or only exceptionally), but, at least, they used to be music-lovers. But when I graduated from Paris, it was no longer the case. Most of them were merely moneymakers who looked for the latest young virtuoso. Once they had found him, he had to play 150 concerts a year, unless he had some millionaires and bank owners in his parentage, or a strong network of powerful relations. Menuhin himself probably had less to say than his banquier! This meant that he couldn't afford to reflect on his music any more, that he travelled every other day, add the nervous tension of concerts,... tendinitis, arm diseases, etc. Within a few years, any less-than-athletic guy would be broken down (and I am much less than athletic, as you may know). I simply couldn't accept to be washed out like that, while my idea of a musician's life was like Milstein's or Menuhin's, keep searching, improving, maturing for dozens of years. A lifetime is not enough to exhaust Bach's music alone... Apart from concert agents, there were lots of people living like parasites around musicians and I couldn't stand the superficiality and pettiness of the milieu. Sadly most musicians themselves know very little apart from their own instrument, because it is very difficult to study music at a professional level and still keep a decent level of general knowledge. All in all, I decided that I wouldn't be a musician under such conditions and preferred to turn to science. But, obviously, music was, is and will always be at the heart of my life and soul.

It is difficult to play in major concerts when you are not part of the "market" any more. But, at least, when I do play, no matter the place, I can choose what I play and how long it takes me to reflect and work on my program.

Nov 17th, 2002, 12:38 PM
gmt, you are one very interesting guy:).

so you did manage to get a decent education while playing and practicing? (I know you did, but how?)

Nov 17th, 2002, 01:00 PM
toda http://perso.club-internet.fr/ttle/tennis/shy.gif

Well, I studied at home. Halftime education doesn't work well with music. Probably what "saved" me was my education, and my curiosity...

Nov 17th, 2002, 01:11 PM
Wow gmt, I'd love to hear you play the violin! Together with the piano it's my favourite instrument.

I used to play the piano when I was younger but then all of a sudden I decided to quit. I can't really remember a reason but I know I regret it now. :sad:
Maybe I could start again but I don't feel like I have enough time at the moment and it's something I'd like to fully concentrate on.

I'm a big fan of the Queen Elisabeth Contest, especially the editions for violin and piano. Usually I follow the contest on TV or radio and last time I went to the concert of the finalists. The winner of the contest, Baiba Skride is very good. She has something fragile but at the same time very passionate about her. I also enjoyed the performances by Barnabás Kelemen and Akiko Ono.

Looking forward to the piano edition of 2003. :bounce:

Nov 17th, 2002, 01:26 PM
Hehe, I had reports from that violin contest almost "live" on a classical music mailing list - one of the Belgian posters was very enthusiastic about Hungarian Kelemen, especially in the compulsory contemporary piece, and also liked the Latvian winner.
I have always held reservations against music competitions, but surely Queen Elisabeth Contest is one of the most worthy (and demanding). Some time ago, I watched a documentary about it on RTBF Satellite. It was very funny to see composer Marcel Poot (1901-1976) announce the results in a dry, tongue-in-cheek sort of way.

Nov 17th, 2002, 01:30 PM
It's indeed a very demanding contest, if you look at all the qualifying rounds they have to go through, it's amazing they find time to sleep! ;)

The whole theatre is always fully packed which is nice to see that there still interest for classical music. :)

Nov 17th, 2002, 01:48 PM
I used to play the piano when I was little, but it made my hands hurt and my doctor said I should stop. I played the flute(sp) for a while, I loved it. but I didn't have enough time for all my after school activities, and had to choose between ballet and the flute. my mom so wanted me to keep dancing, so I chose ballet. *concludes her tragic life story*

Nov 17th, 2002, 02:22 PM

Nov 17th, 2002, 02:30 PM
quiet, you. I could have been the next... *insert name of famous floutist(sp) cause I don't know any*

Nov 17th, 2002, 02:35 PM
Berdien Stenberg? ;)

Nov 17th, 2002, 02:35 PM

Nov 17th, 2002, 02:36 PM
Or Sharon Bezaly, who is becoming very famous these days, lives in Sweden, but comes from... guess... http://perso.club-internet.fr/ttle/tennis/ilwink.gif

Nov 17th, 2002, 02:46 PM
ok, you two are just showing your geekiness now. it's really sexy in a warped kind of way.

Nov 17th, 2002, 02:50 PM
an Israeli? cool.