How to make an instrument sing

Dieter Göltl, assistant solo cellist at the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg came by with his Sacconi cello from 1926.

Over the years, Larsen Strings has enjoyed very good collaboration with the cello section of the NDR Symphony Orchestra, and Mr. Göltl who had noticed the enthusiasm of his colleagues and the result of our efforts with their instruments was now ready to meet us.

Mr. Göltl had been using the same string set-up for many years and was quite satisfied with it. However, he remembered that his instrument some 15 years earlier had a distinctly more open sound and feeling. At  that time when he had just acquired the instrument, it was in a very bad condition. His violinmaker replaced the bass bar and after this the instrument stayed somehow closed and oppressed.

When Mr. Göltl came to Larsen Strings the instrument was still beautiful but not perfectly balanced. The G and D strings were weaker than the higher and lower strings. Furthermore, Mr. Göltl used a dampening rubber ring under the A string at the bridge. At the end of our session the Sacconi cello had four Larsen Magnacore strings, and the rubber ring under the A string had become redundant. Mr. Göltl could suddenly recognize his instrument from 15 years earlier; he recognized the sound and feeling of the instrument. The instrument had regained its freedom and it was able to breathe. When being played by its owner it was actually singing.

Thank you Mr. Göltl for your visit. We hope to hear from you again soon.

 

If you want to know more about the Larsen Magnacore strings, please visit our homepage for factsheet, testimonials, etc.

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Larsen Strings A/S is celebrating its 25th Anniversary

It started with experiments in a garage in Sønderborg. On 25 June 2015 Larsen Strings A/S is celebrating its 25th Anniversary as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of strings for bowed instruments.

Back in 1990 Laurits Th. Larsen, then a violinist at the South Denmark Philharmonic, was contacted by a friend from the USA. The friend urgently needed some cello strings, but the delivery time from the producer was between 12 and 16 months.

– “I spontaneously answered something like ’Don’t worry, I’ll make you some’. And that promise was the beginning of Larsen Strings”, Laurits Th. Larsen says.

Laurits Th. Larsen worked hard to keep his promise, and after 18 months of experiments in the garage he was ready to present the result.

– Laurits Th. Larsen tells: “The responses were extremely positive – the rumour of my strings spread rapidly, and the demand continued to increase.”

At the beginning the production of strings was made on a 100 year old machine – since then development as well as production made a quantum leap. Not least due to the musician from Sønderborg who himself is behind the development of all the high technology machinery today producing Larsen strings for violin, viola and cello for the whole world.

’It’s all about people’

It is essential for Laurits Th. Larsen to underline the fact that for him the most important thing always was the personal relations in a branch demanding both a musical and a human good ear!

“Worldwide less than 10 companies produce strings at the same level as we do, and – as we use to say – ’it’s all about people’.  If there are no human relations in what we do – whether it is in development, in production or in the interaction with our customers and partners – we lose focus. When introducing new products we cannot sell a sound via the internet. We have to go out and meet our customers”, Laurits Th. Larsen says and he continues: “A good string could be compared with a tire – depending on the tire you choose, you can improve your hold on the road or your fuel efficiency, but as a string manufacturer the artistic goal is to create a string that gives the musician the highest degree of freedom to create his own expression.

With 25 years as a prominent figure not only of Larsen Strings A/S, but also the branch in general, the founder of Larsen Strings A/S passed a milestone last year, as he was 60. However, Laurits Th. Larsen has no plans to retire. “I will continue as long as I enjoy what we do.  And I have indeed enjoyed it and still do!”

 

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Carl Nielsen’s 150th anniversary

The Danish composer Carl Nielsen is renowned for his spacious symphonies, great concertos and many other works. Carl Nielsen is also a composer that represents a unique composition style, which is at the same time rooted in folk music and belonging to the avant-garde.

In Denmark, however, he is not only a great classical composer. He is also a composer who is close to the heart of all Danes through his songs, many of which are as popular today as they were at the time they were written.

To celebrate Carl Nielsen, we will use the great composer’s words, as he explains the essence of music:

“I love the vast surface of silence; and it is my chief delight to break it.” (Jeg elsker stilheds store flade, og det er min højeste lyst at bryde denne.)

Carl Nielsen

We kindly suggest listening to Carl Nielsen’s violin concerto with Baiba Skride, DR SymfoniOrkestret and Thomas Søndergård: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6IHqvuYmKQ

 

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The musicians’ contribution to string development

What drives us is our love of music. Our goal is to enhance the musical experience of the listener.

And that’s no small matter.

Bearing in mind this ambition, Larsen Strings’ development team is constantly in search of improvement potential that will enhance string evolution. Our highly educated engineers are devoted to developing strings, which respond to the need of musicians and enhance the symbiosis between musician and instrument. Along the way, trying strings with musicians is and has always been the foundation of our work. For this reason, Larsen Strings has entered into a partnership with many musicians as well as with the local symphony orchestra: South Denmark Philharmonic.

Trying strings with two violists

Last week two members of the South Denmark Philharmonic came by to test strings, violists Katrin Rimer and Jan Åkerlind. The two musicians who are partners in both their professional and private lives have developed very similar sounds.

Jan Åkerlind and Katrin Rimer testing strings

Jan Åkerlind plays a viola from Bettina Knutsson while Katrin Rimer’s viola is from Andreas Hötzer. Both musicians have chosen strong tension strings for their instruments as it enables a clear transmission of the vibrations from the strings to the instruments.

For more information about string tension please read the blog: What is the gauge – and how to choose between soft, medium and strong tension strings?

However, while Katrin’s viola would welcome every string we tried, Jan’s instrument was more specifial. Nevertheless, for both musicians we achieved our goal: They left from here happier with their set-up than when they came in. Meanwhile, we gained additional information about our strings, which brings us closer to our goal.

Jan Åkerlind and Katrin Rimer at Larsen Strings

 

Many thanks to Katrin and Jan. We hope to hear from you soon, because:

We couldn’t do it without you.

Eager to know more?

If you wish to know more about string development, string process and Larsen Strings’ collaboration with musicians, please visit Larsenstrings.com or follow this blog…

 

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