Category Archives: Weilerstein

My friends at CelloChat have introducd me to, which has an astounding array of classical-music videos, some downloadable for a fee, others available free, for a limited time at least. It was post about this Alisa Weilerstein rectial that brought me to the site, which I found a bit confusing to navigate at first. I’m still learning my way around, and while I see Flash sites are the new thing, I still prefer html sites.

Weilerstein has an unconventional bow hand, which she makes work just fine. When Robert Mann was my quartet coach at Juilliard about 100 years ago, he told us something like, “Any competent vilin teacher will tell you it is physically impossible to play the violin the way I do. But I know exactly what I want to hear and I make it happen.”

There are a lot of terrific players with unorthodox techniques. Both Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma spring to mind, in different ways and to varying degrees. To me, this underscores the fundamental principle that the essential element in making music is knowing what you want to hear. The more exact, the better. When that’s in place, the body finds a way. Or as a colleagues years ago told me Rostroovich told him, “When imagination is clear, hand can do impossible things”

I love the freshness and very alive music making in this Weilerstein video and look forward to exporing the site.


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Filed under Alisa Weilerstein,, unconventional techniue