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Product Review: Andrea Rosin for String Instruments

Product Review: Andrea Rosin for String Instruments

One question we often get asked is, “Why are there so many different types of rosin to choose from?” The simple answer is because each type of rosin reacts differently to each player and instrument to create a unique sound.
In this blog post, we look at one of the leading rosins in the string world: the ANDREA rosin.

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2018 UPDATE: 
Andrea Rosins have released a brand new formula! 

Andrea Sanctus Rosin is a unique formula that combines two separate parts in a single cake of rosin. This new release for 2018 is available for violin, viola and cello. 

There's a very special new rosin from ANDREA launched January 2018. Sanctus celebrates the 10th year anniversary of ANDREA rosin under the direction of Peter Bahng. Sanctus is a unique formula that combines two separate parts in a single cake of rosin. The main base is hydrogenated to have excellent oxidation resistance. This ensures constant quality performance experienced throughout the long lasting life of this rosin. 

This unique combination of two sophisticated rosin formulas provides the optimum balance for sound and bow control. These formulas have been put into two separate areas in one special rosin cake to show the clear definition of their roles. The outer ring formula has been designed to give a silky smooth playing feel and to produce a focused sound on the strings. The centre formula responds and kicks in when the player demands more power and gutsiness from their instrument. The sound of these formulas when combined is noticeably more focused with enhanced tonal strength.

Available in one size for violin, viola and cello. The inner core is a newly enhanced formula based on ANDREA's 'Solo' rosin. It is physically softer and thicker. The outer part is formulated to have harder and drier characteristics to generate the balance of sound and to protect the soft centre formula of the rosin. It is still hand poured which makes the rosin making process even more challenging.
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Andrea rosin was relaunched from the popular Tartini Brand in 2009. It is highly regarded as a leader in the rosin world and has many loyal followers including cellist, Lynn Harrell. It is currently available in three formats, the Solo rosin, Orchestra rosin and A Piacere rosin.

As someone who has used the same type of rosin for many years, I was interested to see how the Andrea rosin reacted to my instrument and playing. During rehearsal today, I would be testing the A Piacere rosin and the Orchestra rosin. I started with the A Piacere rosin. The A Piacere is one of the reasons that Andrea was relaunched in 2009. Its formula is based on the popular Tartini Green. When customers heard that Tartini Green would be discontinued, they bought up in bulk. This loyal following convinced the powers that be to relaunch the rosin.

I was testing out this rosin within the orchestral setting and was interested to see how much power I could muster with the assistance of the rosin. Andrea rosins describe the A Piacere as providing effortless bow control and even sound production. Some of the ‘disciples’ of Tartini Green described it as having a silkier sound.

After applying the rosin, I was interested to see that the green tinge of the rosin had in fact transferred onto my bow hair with the rosin dust. However, I became immediately aware of the difference in tone and sound production within the first eight measures of my playing. Even though I was playing fortissimo semiquavers, I did not have to back off my bow pressure to compensate for a more well-rounded tone. The piece of music moved into a slow, dolce section and even though the amount of bow pressure and contact point had changed, my tone remained even and warm.

I would like to say that I normally adapt well to change. But anyone who knows me well will know that this is a blatant lie. However, the Andrea A Piacere had won me over within one movement!

I eagerly cleaned my bow hairs in anticipation of the excitement of trying the Orchestra version. The Orchestra version is said to provide a more blending and warmer sound without compromising on clear bow articulations. In this way, it assists in creating a better ensemble blend.

After application, I noticed that there was no reddish tinge left on the bow hairs. Whilst I found no major differences in the slow, soft and mellow sections, the difference between the two rosins could not have been more obvious when performing at the fortissimo finale of Mahler’s First Symphony. I felt that I had to exert more force on the bow to produce the sound that was equivalent to the A Piacere rosin. However, when I did increase this force, the sound cracks started appearing. It was only during the exceptionally loud sections of the music that I did notice these major differences. Of course, these differences could all be due to my specific technique, instrument and bow.

For me, the Andrea A Piacere rosin for violin had clearly won the day and this long time Bernadel user has been convinced to switch to the market leader in rosins. If you have not tried the Andrea rosin range or, have not changed your rosin in a long time, why not come in and explore the range of rosins that Simply for Strings has to offer. I can guarantee that we have the rosin to meet your specific needs, technique and instrument. Shop our range of rosins online here.

Author: Robyn G for Simply for Strings

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