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Musicians today are encouraged to play it safe by a recording culture that encourages perfect homogeneity. But, writes violist Paul Neubauer, It is still possible for Individuality to thrive

Compared to performers of the past, are today’s recording artists overly concerned with ‘perfection’ at the expense of musical character? Until the advent of the 33 ⅓ rpm album in 1948, recordings were limited by their playback time: up to four minutes of music without any possibility of editing. A recording of a symphony or concerto might span over a dozen sides of 78rpm record, so producers had to plan carefully where to stop and start in longer works. Sometimes performers had to play faster than they preferred or delete a portion of a composition in order to fit the music on one side of a 78 record.

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About The Strad

We explore the life of viola pedagogue Karen Tuttle and investigate the potential for Chinese tonewood. Augustin Hadelich takes us through Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in Masterclass and we examine Pablo Casals’s approach to vibrato. Plus Leonidas Kavakos’s Sentimental Work