“As regards the playing of tenths, it seems to me that the interval always sounds constrained, and hardly ever euphonious enough to justify its difficulty, especially in rapid passages. Yet Paganini used this awkward interval very freely in his compositions, and one of his ‘Caprices’ is a variation in tenths, which should be played more often than it is, as it is very effective. In this connection change of position, which I have already touched on with regard to scale playing, should be so smooth that it escapes notice. Among special effects the glissando is really beautiful when properly done. And this calls for judgment. It might be added, though, that the glissando is an effect which should not be overdone. The portamento—gliding from one note to another—is also a lovely effect. Its proper and timely application calls for good judgment and sound musical taste.
A SPANISH VIOLIN
“I usually play a ‘Strad,’ but very often turn to my beautiful ‘Guillami,’” said Mr. Brown when asked about his violins. “It is an old Spanish violin, made in Barcelona, in 1728, with a tone that has a distinct Stradivarius character. In appearance it closely resembles a Guadagnini, and has often been taken for one. When the dealer of whom I bought it first showed it to me it was complete—but in four distinct pieces! Kubelik, who was in Budapest at the time, heard of it and wanted to buy it; but the dealer, as was only right, did not forget that my offer represented a prior claim, and so I secured it. The Guadagnini, which I have played in all my concerts here, I am very fond of—it has a Stradivarius tone rather than the one we usually associate with the make.” Mr. Brown showed the writer his Grancino, a beautiful little instrument about to be sent to the repair shop, since exposure to the damp atmosphere of the sea-shore had opened its seams—and the rare and valuable Simon bow, now his, which had once been the property of Sivori. Mr. Brown has used a wire E ever since he broke six gut strings in one hour while at Seal Harbor, Maine. “A wire string, I find, is not only easier to play, but it has a more brilliant quality of tone than a gut string; and I am now so accustomed to using a wire E, that I would feel ill at ease if I did not have one on my instrument. Contrary to general belief, it does not sound ‘metallic,’ unless the string itself is of very poor quality.
“In making up a recital program I try to arrange it so that the first half, approximately, may appeal to the more specifically musical part of my audience, and to the critics. In the second half I endeavor to remember the general public; at the same time being careful to include nothing which is not really musical. This (Mr. Brown found one of his recent programs on his desk and handed it to me) represents a logical compromise between the strictly artistic and the more general taste:”