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30 December 2010

Tokyo -- 2011 January, The Record Geijutsu Special Recommendation of the J.S.Bach Cello da spalla Suites integral CD.

Tokyo -- 2011 January, The Record Geijutsu Special Recommendation

Tadashi Yamanouchi

"Fast passages [performed] with ease and [energy], and can be heard with clarity - which is the [distinctive] character of this instrument. The open strings have a rich airy character adding to the richness of the harmonics."

Jiro Hamada
"... Overflown with spirit, his quick-witted performance is motivated by freedom of creativity (based on his deep knowledge of Historically Informed Performance Practice). He puts the suites in their original order, giving each suite its distinct character and placing the entire album above criticism... This album should be payed attention to by everyone".

Tsutomu Nasuda
"He is not only luthier but also

26 December 2010

Review of BadiarovViolins 1st violoncello da spalla solo CD in Japan

Tokyo -- January 2011 issue of classical music CD review published a large article about my CD recorded on my 4th violoncello da spalla. I don't know yet if the review is positive, negative or neutral as my knowledge of the Chinese characters is far too limited for this sort of text.  Earlier this year the CD received a Diapason Découverte prize in France.

The purpose of this recording was to demonstrate the standards of craftsmanship and fidelity to the historical research established at BadiarovViolins - my Studio for the Historically Informed Violin and Bow Making© and the use of these standards to the wider community of professionals as well as music lovers in the field of Historically Informed Performance Practice, aka Early Music.

The CD is available from my shop as well as from most of online and off-line CD shops out there. This very moment, being in Japan, I discovered that everybody here wants it signed! Therefore I will probably sign all my copies when I return to my studio in The Hague.

You can buy your singed copy on-line: from this blog, from my website (you can choose between English, Russian and 日本語 translations) or from BadiarovViolins FB shop. There is a number of CDs by other performers using the same kind of instrument from my studio. The list if these CDs,  in three languages, can be found on BadiarovViolins website.

Happy shopping!

20 December 2010

Seasonal Greetings and Musicians' Money for Free

Here we are: at the end of the 1st decade of the 21st century!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011! Happy New Decade too!

Most of my readers are music lovers and amateur players, professional string-players, some are visual or other kind of artists and nearly all involved in HIP  aka "Early Music". So some say, EM died. Here you can look it up: Bruce Haynes! A thoroughly recommended reading!

EM perhaps died but HIP did not and the problems/opportunities which  the young and starting musicians will face will be the same. I've spoken to many of these musicians and got excited about their projects! The problem is that  some this must be solved with a help of many non-musicians, that is, professionals in other areas such as marketing and finance. I believe the rest of this message will be of practical value to these musicians with big plans.

1. Marketing Your Music Projects - Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Dance.
This page is available in a number of languages, and there is even an online marketing-coach specifically for musicians.

2. Once you completed the steps described above you will need some money. There are several organisations to rely on:

Funds in The Netherlands listed on the website of The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Dance. I copied some of the links just in case the page disappears in the future. Here they are:
Elise Mathilde Fund - purchase a professional quality concert instrument and other funding.
Fondsenboek - find an appropriate fund to finance your projects.
Triodos Bank - funding of culture and music projects or purchase of a professional concert instrument.

The above funds are active mainly in the Benelux area and The Netherlands. You might want to check similar funds and banks in your country.

The past success of Badiarov Violins - Studio for Historically Informed Violin and Bow Making depended on the success of musicians, and so, the future success will also depend on the musicians' success.

Wishing you lots of success in 2011!


P.S. By the way, here is what happened at Badiarov Violins in the first decade.

What did we do between 2000 and 2010?

I was making the planning for the next year when this suddenly occurred to me: we just celebrated 2000 and yet the 1st decade of the new century has already gone!

What was accomplished during the 1st 10 years? 
Here is a summary of what we did at Badiarov Violins - my Studio for Historically Informed Violin and Bow Making:

1. Development of the Badiarov baroque violin models based on surviving instruments and written historical documents, rather than - as it is the case with modern violin-making - copying of posters of fine violins. To these I added the understanding of various playing techniques and national styles, because these affected the violin setup and its changes until and beyond the French Revolution.

2. Defining of the style and philosophy of Historically Informed Violin Making and development of a stylistically appropriate craftsmanship. This was accomplished in collaboration with Ryo Terakado and Sigiswald Kuijken and the colleagues around me: a number of makers of other historical instruments and researchers such as Marco Tiella.

3. Development of fine(r) gut strings in collaboration with Mimmo Peruffo of Aquila Corde Armoniche S.a.S. This was accompanied by the gradual re-stringing of all violins in groups such as La Petite Bande thanks to the interest of the players in this experimentation.

4. Re-construction of the violoncello piccolo da spalla with Sigiswald Kuijken and re-construction of the first concert-quality spalla strings in collaboration with Mimmo Peruffo. Now there are several recordings by a number of musicians and at least two groups - La Petite Bande and Bach Collegium Japan. There is even a CD by a luthier - that is my own record of J.S.Bach 6 Suites for unaccompanied violoncello solo.

5. Development of Half-Rectified strings with Mimmo Peruffo was a by-product of working on the strings for the violoncello da spalla. 

6. Re-construction of an early-baroque set of germanic violins for La Petite Bande to perform a large pre-Bach repertoire. Accomplished with the support from La Petite Bande and Mr Harm Vellguth

7. Development of the Badiarov baroque and classical bow models based on Iconography and surviving examples. 

8. Publication of a number of articles on the matters of Historically Informed Violin and Bow Making in Italy, England and Japan.  

9. Teaching the principles of the Historically Informed Violin Making in Japan in 2007-2009, and teaching some aspects of it in Italy at Scuola di Artigianato Artistico di Pieve di Cento (FE/BO).

10. Building the Database of Violin Iconography in collaboration with Marco Tiella.

11. Creation of the website Badiarov Violins and of its social networks: T F and In 

12. The last, the above work have been noticed in a media such as reviews, newspapers and TV programs. I have not paid much attention to these, so the bits of newspapers must be collected and digitized, lost files recovered from dusty backup CDs and put on a Blogger page.

13. Almost forgot what I had to start with. I made some:
- 57-58 instruments (today making my 67th and 68th baroque violins. These instruments include:
- ten violoncellos da spalla
- several violas
- two viola d'amore
- four early-baroque violins in germanic style
- probably about a hundred or two hundreds of bows - these I never counted, there could be a lot more.
The number is a proof that something in the field of HIP-making, that is the above points 1 and 2, has been done right and that is my way and conviction and nothing in the world would turn me back to the modern way of making violins (or playing them).

14. Co-created "Baroque je t'aime Club" together with Culture International Club in Tokyo to promote HIP in Japan. With the primary focus on amateurs and children, organisation provided 24 monthly short concert-lectures in the last two years (ca.30min of performance, ca.30 minutes of talk and a reception party with the listeners) given by the most respected Japanese professionals in the field. The club has filled the plan for 2011 and beyond.

There is a lot to come in the next decade, may god bless us. The best way to keep in touch is to join one of BadiarovViolins social networks listed above. Particularly my FaceBook page is kept fairly updated because and some musicians prefer to contact me via FaceBook rather than by email or phone.

Wishing you all a brilliant 2011!


18 December 2010

The technique of playing on violoncello da spalla and what "da spalla" stands for

Violoncello da spalla stands for a shoulder-violoncello. Shoulder-violoncello does not necessarily stand for an all together another violoncello except that it must have been almost invariably smaller than the modern violoncello. To mention just two out of many sources, Hawkins in the end of the 18th century noted that what was called violoncello in his time was called violone in the first half of the 18th century. This evidence, apart from other evidence mentioned in my Galpin SJ article, suggests that baroque violoncello was smaller than the modern violoncello. While the matters are a lot  more complex than that (meaning the history of the violone) there is a great deal of truth in Hawkins' words. My article also mentions a small number of violoncello drawings attributed to A.Stradivari and signed as models for violoncellos, presumably, by Stradivari's own hand. It would be a valuable study to investigate the authenticity of the hand-writing and that of the ink and paper. To my knowledge there was no such a study undertaken so far. However even their authenticity would not eliminate the da spalla phase and its importance in the history of the baroque violoncello. More theoretical info can be found in D.Badiarov in the Galpin SJ, G.Barnett in AMIS, M.Vanscheeuwijck in Early Music, L.Smit and others. The sound and information on playing technique can be found in the videos below.

It would be necessary to mention that my playing technique is not the only solution but just one of many. Several violoncello da spalla pioneers such as Sigiswald Kuijken, Samantha Montgomery, Ryo Terakado, Francois Fernandez,  Carlos Albuisech, Diana Roche, Jesenka Balic Zunic, Makoto Akatsu and others all have a slightly different playing technique though it invariably comes to supporting the instrument with a belt against the right shoulder.

(recorded a few years ago in Mexico)

(Excerpts from a few CDs recorded with Bach Collegium Japan)

Bach Cello Suites are also available on a CD shown on this blog as well as on my website. This CD was prepared during the spare moments of "free-time" after full-time days of violin and bow-making at Badiarov Violins. 

12 December 2010

Workshop: Violoncello da spalla - science or fiction?

THE 3rd Workshop
Science or Fiction?

2011 September 19th, 15:00-18:00
at Badiarov Violins Studio

We shall talk about the true history of the baroque violoncello, the instrument and repertoire still to be pioneered into on this new historical instrument.

Cost: students - 50 EUR, professionals and amateurs - 75 EUR.

Upon reservation.  

The place, date and time subject to change. Contact to re-confirm.

Workshop: Practical History of Gut Strings

THE 2nd Workshop
2011 May 16th, 15:00-19:00
at Badiarov Violins Studio

We shall organize the gut string history into easy to understand and remember periods, see what were the corresponding changes in music and instrument styles and what provoked or stipulated those changes. The workshop will be focused on practical application of knowledge rather than just useless theory.

Cost: students - 50 EUR, professionals and amateurs - 75 EUR.

Upon reservation.  

The place, date and time subject to change. Contact to re-confirm.

6 December 2010

Workshop: Dealing with Emergencies for Travelling String-players

January 19th, 13:00-15:30
At Badiarov Violins in The Hague.

- re-setting fallen or moved sound-post
- adjusting failing pegs
- replacing broken tailpiece gut
- removing dirt or grease from the bow-hair

Cost: students 50 EUR, professionals 75 EUR

Upon reservation.