The Dancing figurine, video 29 seconds

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Ivancitre
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:37 pm

The Dancing figurine, video 29 seconds

Post by Ivancitre » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:34 pm

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10 ... =2&theater

ON THE STAGE OF ZITHER: THE DANCING FIGURINE (an article, related to video)

The dancing figurine on the zither embodies the brilliance of the citizen romanticistic culture and its sense for the unforgettable moment. Thinny puppet, which uses the resonance of the upper zither surface for its motion and plainly stirs up our imagination, was once put on the prim or »halbelegie« zither by the zither player. When he began to play, the figurine suddenly became alive, moving in the rythm of the music. The zither changed itself in to the wide, semicircular opera stage, on which the figurine qietly begin to dance. Veneered and pearly intarsias splendourosly flared up in the reflection of the stage lightning. The white celuloid on the border of the zither converted to the illuminated edge of the stage with the public in the darkness of the background. Strings from the front of the stage began to sound like harmonious orchestra, while the zither player enjoyed in the good view, right from the highest gallery in the miniature musical theatre.

The present figurine of the singer, from 1870, which floats on feet of four thinny fibres of beast four or stronger fibres of the old brush, is made from the light pine wood. Together with the feet, it weighs 42 grams. Without feet it is 55 mm (2 ¼ inch) high, together with the feet of fibres the figurine is 2 mm (1/12 inch) higher. From the bottom, its wooden inside is hollowed out. The hollow is horizontaly split by the thin metal wire axis, from which the singers legs with the blue trousers swings. Because of the higher feet of fibres, during the motion legs are swinging freely, so it seems, that the singer easily moves all around the stage. In order to spin fastly to evoke the rupt attention of the listener, one of the thinny fibred legs has to be shortened. Otherwise the figurine doesnt spin; it just slides forward towards the edge, until it falls off the zither.

Effiminated by the Cradle song of Franz Schubert, the dancing figurine, easy going around in the rythm of laendler, mostly likes to dance by accompaniment of the louder melody, played on the higher position of the melody bass string C. With the subtle motion, it follows the waves in The Song of the Mermaid from the opera Oberon by Carl Maria von Weber, and feels deeply in fragment Ah del Tebro from the opera Norma by Italian composer Vincencio Bellini. With its gentle ballet presentation of nocturno By the light of the stars, written by a Czech composer Josef Novak, the figurine charms almost every listener, who becomes completly absorbed in motion.

For the exact planning and control of each movement of the figurine, zither player has to play louder, clearly and flexible, staccato and sforzando, expressively amabile, animato, rubato and brillante, with the stressed rythm and much larger dynamics in the moderate temps. A restless tempo with alternating accelerando and ritardando, characteristic for the music of romanticism is necessary. It makes the motion of the figurine elegant, tensed and dramatic. The figurine does not respond to a silent playing, faster temps and sequent short notes without intermediate rests. It is also embarased with the rich harmonies, full of various oscilations. In this case the figurine moves too slow in various directions; because the sound frequencies spread outwards on the slightly convexed upper plate, we have to put the figurine back to its starting point near the bass strings, as soon as we finish a theme. The lasting of each separate move is regulated by the duration and loudness of each picked tone, while the speed of each move is induced by the force, the strings are struck. The figurine cheers up mostly in the 6/8 takt, where we play divorce chords on accompaniment strings with much more vigorously stressed first and fourth period, or in sextolas in 4/4 takt, performed as andante quasi allegretto.

For the best rezults, Vienna romantic zither with the dancing figurine has to be played on the pine wood table with a good resonance.
Now you know it, this delightfull puppet! Maybe it waits to amuse you, forsaken in an old, dusty wooden zither etui in the garret trumpery … , who knows?

(Ivan Zupanc plays Thomas Koschat, Snow Waltz first theme, recorded by Jasmina Levicar, with a mobile phone)

Ivan Zupanc

Heidi
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:07 am

Re: The Dancing figurine, video 29 seconds

Post by Heidi » Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:40 pm

That's absolutely adorable! I want one :P Do they still make these? I wonder what it would look like if you had two figurines dancing together...
"It's what you do with what you've got that counts."

Ivancitre
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:37 pm

Re: The Dancing figurine, video 29 seconds

Post by Ivancitre » Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:38 pm

Heidi wrote:That's absolutely adorable! I want one :P Do they still make these? I wonder what it would look like if you had two figurines dancing together...
It is really a smart question. The figurine is original from the year 1880, and is very rare, it was produced and sold in the 19th century. In my personal concert museum (wich accepts only five visitors a year), I have more than 100 titles of old music papers, on the pictures there is no one single figurine, they existed in the old cataloges only... I had been looking for it for more than thirty years. The problem was, that our ancestors did not know, how to use the figurine, after the fibres dropped out and the figurine was not able to stand, relatives of the zither player thought that the figurine was damaged and usually they threw it away. In old cataloges from the 19th century there are figurines like dancing couple, hens, cavalry man, goats etc...

If You dont mind, see the same article with pictures in slovenian language in the newspaper Slovenski citrar (Slovenian zither player) december 2013, page 19, 20. One pictures shows the dancing couple.
http://www.citre-drustvo.si/temp/Sloven ... er-web.pdf

Regard from Ljubljana, Ivan

Heidi
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:07 am

Re: The Dancing figurine, video 29 seconds

Post by Heidi » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:38 am

Many thanks for posting the article link! I regret that I don't understand Slovenian but the pictures themselves spoke volumes. I enjoyed studying them and seeing the variety of characters. These delightful little figurines are truly remarkable. You are lucky to have found one.

Regards from Maryland,

Heidi
"It's what you do with what you've got that counts."

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