Saturday, November 27, 2010

All We Want Are The Facts

I have said several times that the list of violinists on my webpage (numbering 500 and growing) is arbitrary.  Similarly, the list on this blog is arbitrary; however, in choosing which violinists to write about on this blog, there are two categories from which I select: (1) the older generation (born 1650-1920) and (2) the contemporary (1920-1995.)  The older ones are easier to pick among: I try to stick to the obviously legendary and the significant, though forgotten, violinists - the more forgotten, the better.  Among the contemporary bunch, I try to search out those whom I think are already brilliant or promising to be.  But, again, I must say that all my choices are totally and completely arbitrary.  The facts presented here are given without reference, though not (of course) without sources.  I double check everything presented as fact and often triple check those facts.  Whenever I find discrepancies or differences, I note them on the blog.  Anything that sounds like an opinion would be mostly my own doing, of course.  I trust that anyone choosing to quote from this blog or use it as a reference will search other sources.  There are certain dates (and facts) that are available in obscure (and old) source material but are there nonetheless, if one will only look diligently.  Orchestral (rank and file) violinists are almost totally absent and for good reason; there is close to zero information available about them, no matter how significant, and, more importantly, their contribution is not individual.  Orchestra players – like studio musicians - are anonymous, except for concert programs.  There are precious few exceptions, mostly coming from the ranks of concertmasters such as William DeFesch, Ferdinand David, Raymond Cohen, Nahan Franko, Steven Staryk, Theo Olof, Frank Almond, Glenn Dicterow, etc.  Neville Marriner was a second violinist in a London orchestra but he became an important conductor so I wrote something about him.  Now that this has been cleared up, it’s time to write a blog about Adele Anthony or Eduard Grach or Fabio Biondi or Vladimir Spivakov, or who knows.... 

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