Chats on Violins

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T.W. Laurie, 1905 - Violin - 221 pages

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Page 167 - That is indeed but little for a man to get, who does best that which so many endeavour to do. There is nothing, I think, in which the power of art is shown so much as in playing on the fiddle. In all other things we can do something at first. Any man will forge a bar of iron, if you give him a hammer ; not so well as a smith, but tolerably. A man will saw a piece of wood, and make a box, though a clumsy one ; but give him a fiddle and a fiddle-stick, and he can do nothing.
Page 68 - That plain white-aproned man who stood at work Patient and accurate full fourscore years, Cherished his sight and touch by temperance, And since keen sense is love of perfectness Made perfect violins, the needed paths For inspiration and high mastery.
Page 39 - was an indispensable piece of furniture in every fashionable house, where it hung up in the best chamber, much as the guitar does in Spain, and the violin in Italy, to be played on at will, and to fill up the void of conversation. Whoever pretended to fashion affected an acquaintance with this instrument.
Page 32 - But after three hours' stay it could not be fixed in tune ; and so they were fain to go to some other musique of instruments.
Page 57 - Agreed,' I cried, though I knew it was a big sum. "That violin came strolling, or playing rather, through my brain for some years. It was in 1841, I was in Leipsic giving concerts. Liszt was there, and so also was Mendelssohn. One day we were all dining together. We were having a splendid time. During the dinner came an immense letter with a seal — an official document. Said Mendelssohn, ' Use no ceremony; open your letter.
Page 177 - Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.
Page 50 - I have known valued at .100. These were old, but we have now very excellent workmen, who, no doubt, can work as well as those, if they be so well paid for their work as they were. Yet we chiefly value old instruments before new ; for by experience they are found to be far the best.
Page 202 - ... played with astonishing precision and expression, although circumscribed to the limits of the 4th string, which the Signor invests with all the powers of the other three. His mixture of pizzicato with his bowing is quite his own, and is likely ever to remain so. The arrival of this magician is quite enough to make the greater part of the fiddling tribe commit suicide.
Page 58 - What an awful seal!' cried Liszt. ' With your permission,' said I, and I opened the letter. It was from Rhehazek's son, for the collector was dead. His father had said that the violin should be offered to me at the price he had mentioned. I told Liszt and Mendelssohn about the price. 'You man from Norway, you are crazy,' said Liszt. 'Unheard of extravagance, which only a fiddler is capable of,
Page 175 - ... Father Daly, with a long sigh of enjoyment. " Now, Bryan, where is your fiddle ? " An instrument was produced and handed first to the old man, who played an Irish planxty of Carolan's, mad with fun and frolic. Afterwards the fiddle was passed to Bryan, in whose hands it became the violin — " That small sweet thing, Devised in love and fashioned cunningly Of wood and strings.

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