Friday, November 18, 2011

WMP Concert Hall Review

Here is a review of Gil Morgenstern concert series. Visit their website to see all reviews.

Verbal Questions, Musical Replies
New York
W.M.P. Concert Hall
11/16/2011 -
Gil Morgenstern Reflection Series
Johann Sebastian Bach: Adagio and Fugue from the G Minor Sonata for Solo Violin, BWV 1001
György Kurtág: Hommage à J.S. Bach – Im Volkston – Carenz Jig
Lukas Foss: Early Song and Composer’s Holiday from Three American Pieces
Anton Webern: Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Opus 7
Johannes Brahms: Sonata Number 3 for Violin and Piano in D Minor, Opus 108

Gil Morgenstern (Violin and Interlocutor), Benjamin Hochman (Pianist)

Artists in WMP Concert Hall (© Coco T. Dawg)

Historically set between 17th Century Ducal palazzos, where musicians were surrounded by Titian paintings and Cellini goblets, and 21st Century stadia and halls, where every tone is regulated to the umpteenth correct vibe, lies the salon-concert hall. W.M.P. Concert Hall, to which I was introduced last night, is one of New York’s most lovely.

The most ornate is Weill Recital Hall, with its creamy Baroque decorations. But W.M.P. can beat them on two accounts. First, the vestibule, inside an unprepossessing portal on east 28th Street, is packed with violins and cellos, autographed pictures of virtuosi, historical photos from the late 19th Century. Obviously, this is a string-instrument workshop.

Second, past the gilded mirrors and Parisian chandeliers, are seats for about 70 listeners. In front is a stage with a wooden shell for optimal acoustics–and a 7’4” Bösendorfer concert grand piano.

Now, to some pianists, the relationship of Bösendorfer to Steinway is between Beluga and Esturia. One is excellent, the other has no adjectives to describe its effect. I am not one to judge, but Franz Liszt played nothing else when performing for the Austrian Emperor.

G. Morgenstern (© Wendy Stulberg)

The pianist last night was the fine Israeli Benjamin Hochman, but the main honors went to that always fascinating violinist Gil Morgenstern. Yes, he is one of the most technically adept and tasteful violinists playing today. But equally fascinating because, while not associated exclusively with any period, Mr. Morgenstern has programs which are of special interest, even if the pieces on paper don’t seem to go together.

Last night was an example of his work. Nine out of the ten works played were less than nine minutes in duration. (I approximate this, not having a watch.) But these were not at all encore works, lollipops. In fact, as the violinist explained before each set of works, they all asked questions. About personality, style and era.

Why, for instance, does one put Webern with Bach on the same program? Mr. Morgenstern speaks of their same attention to detail, to the same incredible technique required.

“But if Bach, had he written in 1908, like the Webern’s Five Pieces, would he have shortened his 100 measures down to nine measures?”

Or one takes the treatment of folk song by Lukas Foss (born in Germany, but very much, when necessary, part of the American musical movement) and by György Kurtág (born in Rumania, but in the Hungarian section of Rumania), with his emphasis on both folk songs.

Mr. Morgenstern played all this music with an elan that is difficult to hear in full-size concert hall. His thrilling tone, his brilliant four-string playing in the Bach, his sense of harmonics and trills... In a salon like W.M.P. there is not room for a single error. It would resonate and be remembered like an actor falling off a stage.

But Mr. Morgenstern is too fine a musician to make those errors in such an intimate space. Perhaps in his larger concert halls he could take chances. Here, he was demonstrating the art of great style, great technique and (while I have never met him), obviously great personality as well.

The final work was the least “complex” work of all, Brahms’ Third Sonata. One could say that here we didn’t need to worry about harmonics and Webernian equations. Yet that was anything but true. So masterful is Mr. Morgenstern that the Brahms had a unique majesty. One senses that the irascible old composer himself would sit up and take very favorable notice.

Harry Rolnick

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Electric.........Ex Vatican Strad

 When you come into Gradoux-Matt Rare Violins its almost like stepping into a world of the past. There are rare  pictures  on the wall of violinist from the beginning of the 20th century, old sketches of violinist such as Nicolo Paganini. As you walk farther back see our beautiful hall with its elegant chandeliers; it is impossible not to feel the warm and cozy atmosphere. Guests of our shop have said when they come here it reminds them of old New York before all the corporations took over. Emmanuel has decided to share a little piece of beauty and elegance that you experience when you come into our shop. There is a painting hanging on our walls of the Ex Vatican Strad, it is originally the art and design for the CD cover with  for  Philip Glass, composer - Wendy Sutter, cellist, recorded album "Songs and Poems I, II and III" for solo cello, by Herika Harrsch. We have made a set of 3 postcards perfect for all occasions. We are selling them in our shop and on

Other Gostrings news we are now selling guitar string along with some guitar accessories , electric violins and other products that are perfect for musicians that need to get LOUD. We will soon be selling electric cellos and Yamaha products.  

A set of 3 postcards:  The size is 5"x 5". The picture side is glossy and the back is matt.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Burried Treasure!

      Last week Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt, CEO of WMP Concert Hall, GoStrings, and Gradoux-Matt Rare Violins appeared on the TV show Buried Treasures on Fox Network. Buried Treasures is a reality TV program featuring the Keno Brothers from the TV show on PBS Antique Road Show. The premise of the show is the Keno brothers find interesting and potentially high value antiques, then find out the value and a buyer. Emmanuel appeared in the first episode when a family on the show had an old violin. The violin had a label with Giovanni Paolo Maggini and the Keno twins called Emmanuel to evaluate the instrument. Unfortunately for the family Emmanuel did not give them good news, the violin was a 19th century copy only valued at 300 dollars. Hopefully some people learned from Emmanuel's appearance on Buried Treasure. We get hundreds of people hoping that their violin with a Stradivarius label is the real thing but 99.9% of the time it is a copy. I am excited for the day when someone actually finds a real hidden treasure. In our next blog post Emmanuel will tell a story of when someone actually did have a real hidden treasure. Stay tuned!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Time!!

Can you believe summer is almost over! School will be starting soon, everyone is coming back from camp. So get ready for the fall with! We have great deals on Pirastro strings and we will soon have great deals on cases and string sets to get you ready for the fall.  When you make a purchase from Gostrings join our mailing list to be the the first to find out our great deals on!!

Just last week the prop master from the show "White Collar" bought a violin from Gradoux-Matt Rare Violins. The whole episode is going to be about a violin, and the violin is one of ours!! If you live in New York City remember head quarters is right in Manhattan. We can help you in person with anything you might need. You never know who you might run into in our shop, we help the top musicians from all around the world and in New York City.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Season! Attacca Quartet!

We are thrilled to announce that the Attacca Quartet will open the season concerts at "Strad for Lunch Series on September 7th. Program to be announce soon. Suggested donation: $10
Winner of the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 60th annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 2006, the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet has become one of America's premier young performing ensembles. The Attacca Quartet just won the 7th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition! Visit there website for more info
Attacca Quartet is not only an amazing group of musicians but a great group of people. We are so excited that they will be giving us the honor of opening our season at WMP Concert Hall. Please visit our website to see all the upcoming concerts at

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gil Morgenstern's Reflections Series 2011-2012 New York Season

We are proud to announce that Gill Morgenstern will be giving his second concert series at WMP Concert Hall. Last season every concert was sold out. Please if you are interested in coming to this series call in advance before his concerts are all sold out. This is what had to say

"The first season of Gil Morgenstern's Reflections Series in its new home at WMP Concert Hall was a sold-out success, beginning with a season-opening concert featuring the legendary Laurie Anderson, through performances inspired by muses as diverse as the Parisian salon and the diaspora, and concluding with Schoenberg's beautiful and intense Verklärte Nacht.

The New York Times
described Gil Morgenstern as a, "brilliant artist," while New York magazine called Reflections, an "illuminating annual series."

Through its unique contextualization of historical artistic styles and events of their time period, Reflections Series programming entertains and enlightens the 21st century audience. Using both existing and original works, and with the collaboration of a superb ensemble of creative and performing artists representing all art forms, Reflections programs present works that both reflect upon one another and invite the audience to reflect anew on universal themes. The Reflections Series during the 2011-2012 season will also presented in Miami, Philadelphia, Boston and at An Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, North Carolina; and in various cities throughout Italy, France, and England.

WMP Concert Hall is an intimate venue, ideally suited to Gil Morgenstern's innovative approach to programming. New York magazine describes it as, "a miniature version of a European aristocrat's music room, complete with gilt mirrors, chandelier, and lyre-back chairs."

We hope you will mark your calendars now, and join us again next season!"

For More information:
Reflections Series:
Gil Morgenstern:
WMP Concert Hall:

If you would like to purchase tickets for any concerts please email

Friday, June 24, 2011

WMP Concert Hall

 76 Concerts, 7 Concert Series, 117 solo artists, 8 Quartets, 7 Trios, 4 Ensembles = Season 2010-11 at WMP Concert Hall!! Thank you to all the wonderful artists who performed this season.  Have a wonderful Summer! Looking forward to seeing you in September. Stay tuned for next season's programming.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today at 31 E 28th st

In our workshop the work was completed on the Strad and the Amati is still with the top off. A new sound post patch is being fitted. The Strad had her top put back on and sounds absolutely amazing. The owner of the Strad is very happy. We had a very successful "Strad for Lunch" concert featuring a string trio. This was a beautiful group. They played  pieces by Dohnanyi and a composer from Brooklyn, NY Mazzolli. Today  Gostrings received some awesome Tonareli cello shaped cases in a variety of colors,  Mint green, black, cherry red and our ever popular pink! I think the pink cases will only be here for a week,  they are our fastest selling cases at Gostrings.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesdays Strad for Lunch Review

Yesterday, our "Strad for Lunch" concert featured the cellist Thomas Mesa on our "Vatican Strad." cello made by Nicolo Amati circa 1660 and Alexandra Joan on our Bosendorfer piano. Thomas is a native of Miami, Florida and is currently a student of Timothy Eddy at the Julliard School.  Alexandra a graduate of the Paris Conservatory and the Julliard School. She has an active international performance career and is the artistic director of the Kaleidoscope Series this season at WMP Concert Hall. We witnessed a beautiful collaboration between both performers. For the  Sonata for Cello and Piano by C. Debussy, our french pianist really understood Debussy's music and it showed in her performance together with Thomas who showed how strong his relationship is with the cello, in coupling his interpretation with the piano. Showing his beautiful right hand technique, his bow getting a great powerful sound. The communication between them in the Sonata for cello and piano was beautiful. The second piece performed was the cello solo in Messiaen  Quartet for the End of Time "Praise to the Eternity of Jesus". It was very intimate, strong and moved everyone in the audience. This is such an important music. The final piece of the concert was  J. Brahms Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major. A great ending to the recital. Thomas played with strong, romantic emotion and precision. What a wonderful artist, giving us a great array of colors, feelings and moods. This recital was another example of the multitude of talented musicians that have performed on our stage, at WMP. We look forward to seeing both of these musicians perform again as their careers blossom. Oh, yes... we will get to see Alexandra perform one more time this season on June 1st. Visit for more details about this concert and all the activities at WMP.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In the workshop, top off a Stradivari and an Amati.

Today in the workshop, together with all the other patients,  there are two very fine instruments, a violin made by Stradivari and a cello made by Niccolò Amati. The instruments of Stradivari and Amati  are highly coveted by the worlds top musicians and collectors for the quality of their sound and their craftsmanship. Emmanuel is performing a major restoration, involving taking the top off on both instruments with the help of Sebastien Lavielle. The owners of these two instruments are famous musicians and we are proud to welcome their instruments on our bench.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Concert Tomorrow!

Hi! Tomorrow's wednesday, which means that there's another Strad for Lunch-concert in the WMP concert hall. This time, Giora Schmidt (violin) and Anna Polonsky (piano) will perform pieces by Geminiani, Janáček and Beethoven. As Giora has been practicing here, I know that it will be worth listening to!

Our Strad for Lunch concerts take place every wednesday at 12.30 pm, in the WMP-Concert Hall, which is situated at 31 East 28th street. We hope to see you there!

Eva - Intern for three weeks

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

11-05-'11 - midweek update

As some of you may know, at Wednesdays at 12:30 pm we organize one-hour concerts called "Strad for Lunch" featuring one of our Stradivarius instruments. Today's concert was a wonderful Violin Sonata (Mozart, No. 32 in B-flat major, K. 454) and another one composed by Prokofiev (No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80), performed by Erika Mitsui on the violin and Alexandra Joan on the piano.

Erika is a marvelous Japanese-American violinist, born and raised in New York, who studies at Juilliard with Ronald Copes from the Juilliard quartet. Alexandra is a French-Romanian pianist who's been a very active player in Europe and made her debut in New York in 2007. You might have heard her already at WMP this season as she's the artistic director of the Kaleidoscope series. They both did wonderfully today and had every one of us impressed!

Tomorrow evening (Thursday May 12th) at 7:30 pm we organize an evening of Chamber music with violinist Anastasia Khitruk and pianist Elena Baksht. They will be playing pieces from Colina, franck and Ravel. Anastasia Khitruk is an internationally renowned champion of rarely performed works and Elena captivates her audience from the moment she appears on stage with a combination of profound lyricism, dazzling technique and charismatic presence. We'd love to see you there tomorrow!

Eva - Intern for three weeks

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hi there!

This first post is merely an introduction to the companies situated here on 31 East 28th street, in Manhattan, NYC. This wonderful building is home to not only the headquarters of our online shop, but also to the WMP Concert Hall (on the background of this page), Gradoux-Matt Rare Violins and One to One Services.

GoStrings is a website that sells a wide range of cases, strings, accessories and sheet music for string instruments, at affordable prices. Our GoStrings-guys have a whole basement to themselves. It's a small and welcoming company. You can rent string instruments here as well! Check the website to find out more!

The Workshop for Music Performance Concert Hall is a beautifully decorated Concert Hall that can keep an audience of 70 people. The acoustics are amazing and walking into the room makes you think of a Parisian salon in the 19th century. Chamber music concerts are arranged two or three times a week and the hall is available for rent - perfect for private events and concerts! Please see the link on the left.

String instrument dealer and restorer Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt started a workshop here, called Gradoux-Matt Rare Violins. It's now a well-run company with two violin builders, here to restore your string instruments, and they build instruments themselves, occasionally.

One to One services rents out beautiful cars with drivers and arranges beautiful home concerts with amazing musicians. For weddings they also arrange the whole package! Check their enchanting website on the left!

Keep checking this blog to get updates on life in this building, and please stop by!

Eva - Intern for three weeks