excerpt from 'My Viola and I: a complete autobiography / Lionel Tertis' pp. 16 (185 words)

excerpt from 'My Viola and I: a complete autobiography / Lionel Tertis' pp. 16 (185 words)

part of

My Viola and I: a complete autobiography / Lionel Tertis

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

16

type

text excerpt

encoded value

When I first began to play the viola as a solo instrument, prejudice and storms of abuse were my lot. The consensus of opinion then was that the viola had no right to be heard in solos, indeed the consideration of its place in the string family was of the scantiest. It was not only a despised instrument, but its cause was far from helped by the down-and-out violinists who usually played it. The executants in those days were violinists too inferior to gain a position in orchestras as such. A wretchedly low standard of viola-player, was engaged by the Academy to take part twice a week in the orchestral practices. What a player he was! He used a very small instrument, not worthy of the name viola, and he produced from it as ugly a sound as fiddle ever emitted – a bone-dry tone, absolutely devoid of vibrato, which made one’s hair stand on end. I once enquired of Sir Alexander: ‘Could we not dispense with this horrible player?’ His reply was ‘No, he is a necessary evil.’

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excerpt from 'My Viola and I: a complete autobiography / Lionel Tertis' pp. 16 (185 words)

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