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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

A little Christmas agony,
with aunt ALICE McVEIGH

And now, a special Christmas bonus offer for all my cellist friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I accessed www.pirastro.com to find out more about the Evah Pirazzi strings, sent them an email, and asked if they ever sent out sample strings.

So convinced are the makers that you will never switch to another brand, having tried theirs, that they sent me a free set of strings, and what I recommend is that you go and do thou likewise!!!!!!!!!! (I didn't even mention that I was, as a writer, able to give them a spot of publicity.)

These strings, which are worth around 130 pounds in violin shops, at first appear a bit raw and buzzy, especially at the top. Do not (repeat, do not) let this put you off. If you persevere you will discover, by around the third day, that the projection that was always there has rounded out into a blissfully rich and resonant tone, even from top to bottom, and with equal capacity to project and blend (apparently the 'soft' variety blends even more eloquently, but they sent me the medium sort). The quality of sound is so full that it seems invidious to pick out anything in particular, but it is a special pleasure to me to have so much more evenness and projection high up on the D-string, while the open G and C fill me with joyful delusions of world power.

Before this I was using Larsen on A and D and Helicore on G and C but I never felt the evenness or the depth of sonority I've noted with the Evah Pirazzi. I meant to put on the G (mine was tired) and gradually phase in the other 3, but I am a complete convert: I couldn't hang about and wait: once the G sunk in I had to greedily bung on the C and then the D and then the A in a kind of reckless frenzy. And, though I wouldn't go so far as to endorse their quote on the back of the string sleeve ('I'm so happy I can't stop playing!') -- I mean this is December, for God's sake, and if I get more than an hour's practice a day it's a minor miracle -- I can guarantee that I am certainly enjoying the playing I have time to do more than I've done in years and years. I think that this is one sales gimmick that will pay off: because who could go back to 'good enough' strings after savouring these little gems -- and all for nothing?

Cordially,
Alice

Ask Alice

Message for Alice McVeigh
how do i get a mametchi?

Message from Alice McVeigh's genius at tamagotchi daughter:
Have a look on www.mimitchi.com: this is a brilliant site with all the info!!!!!!!!

Ask Alice

There is plenty of agony going around at this time of year:

Dear Alice,
I cannot describe to you the agony of spirit I endured while singing in my church carol service next to the world's most off-key soprano ...

Dear 'Ask Alice',
Do I really have to put up with my brother's wife coming over and moaning about ...

Alice:
My daughter is devastated because the lights at the front of the house ...

Dear Alice,
The mince pies that my husband was looking forward to got burned by ...

Alice: how can i get my gran not to give me a stupid present i think she thinks i am a baby ...

Luckily, there is also plenty of wine.

Answers to the above:

  1. Fix your mind on higher things (like the top A in the descant)
    Two glasses of wine on an emptyish stomach
  2. Yes, sorry, 'fraid you do, really.
    See wine recipe above.
  3. Tell daughter to get a life.
    See wine recipe above.
  4. Tell husband to go to Sainsbury's. Why should you always suffer? Two and a half glasses of wine here, I think.
  5. Now this is a serious and difficult question, mainly because you sound too young for the obvious solution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Cultivate a brave and stoical smile as your Gran hands you the teddy bear and say, 'This is really lovely, and playing with it and dressing it up will make a nice break between my early GCSE preparation book and Kasperov's book on advanced chess moves.' Once she's safely off the premises, donate it to a kiddie hospice.

Ask Alice

ALICE WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL HER REGULAR READERS (AND ANY IRREGULAR READERS TOO, WHAT THE HELL) A STRESS-FREE CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Copyright © 23 December 2005 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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EVA PIRAZZI STRINGS

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