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January 14, 2012



Here we agree - i am also a fan of cellos near the middle, and (in most cases) of "split" fiddles too.

Bob Thomas

My comment about the string placement was that I found it interesting (especially from where I was sitting) to hear the particular theme in question move, essentially, from the right side of the orchestra to the left, section by section. Of course there are moments when having the violins split produces its own distinctive sound. From my perspective, the biggest sound adjustment that both of these seating arrangements make is to put the cellos somewhere in the middle of the orchestra, which produces a more resonant sound, to my ears. Splitting the violins, which moves the violas more “inside,” adds to that rich sound, IMHO, although there are conductors who continue to place the cellos on the far right side or the orchestra.


Your speed of writing and posting reviews is admirable and the sheer volume of information in them is impressive. It is understandable therefore that some inaccuracies do creep in from time to time. For example, Maestro Dudamel is still only 30 and is not turning 31 until next week. When you wrote that The Fourth "is the closest that Mahler came to a standard four-movement symphony format" you must have forgotten The First which is certainly closer to it by far. A question: when you write that "seating arrangement with violas far right and all of the violins clustered on the left really paid dividends in this movement", what do you mean by that? In what way was it better than with a different seating? To my ears, in that particular slow movement (as well as in many others) the stereo separation effect is much more interesting when second violins are seated on the opposite side from the firsts.

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