Riding the Kreisler Highway

My quest for proper violin hold, bow hold, finger and arm positioning, and bow placement on the strings continues.  Weekly, Teacher makes minor corrections to my configuration, and, weekly, I’m able to absorb ever so slightly more detail about doing it all correctly.  Yesterday, I was tickled when she made me aware of a new name for a core concept.

Teacher doesn’t know why, but the area of the strings directly above the f holes on the instrument – the “sweet spot” over which the bow should generally travel – is sometimes referred to by violinists as “The Kreisler Highway.”

According to Wikipedia, Fritz Kreisler was a violinist living in the late 19th through mid-20th centuries.  He was one of the foremost violinists in the world; his distinctive style was easily recognizable by aficionados.  Prior to yesterday, I had heard his name, but that’s about it.  I’m still not finding much with my lazy, but likely blog post worthy, web research, but the blogger at CAMqtr reports that Kreisler was Suzuki’s favorite violinist.  Additionally, there’s a book on Suzuki by Craig Timmerman called “Journey down the Kreisler Highway.”  I might try to find it soon.

The anecdote that struck me most about Kreisler in the Wikipedia article was a reverse plagiarism story.  He wrote several pieces in the style of the greats, like Vivaldi, and attributed them to the masters.  Later, he revealed that he had written the compositions himself.

Nobody’s going to be mistaking me for Kreisler anytime soon – but one of my goals for the coming week is to pick a lane and stay there.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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