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  1. From what I understand, Morassi is very much in demand in Japan and the rest of Asia. There don't seem to be very many of them available in the U.S. Your point on the currency exchange is well taken. Take a look at some of the prices on German bows...
  2. Putting aside dealer involvement and looking at the Morassi on it's own merits, I would say it has a lot going for it. It is attractive to look at and made of first class materials. It is in essentially perfect condition and does not need restoration. Add to that the fact that violins by Morassi are reputed to be excellent playing instruments and are used by a host of professionals, and it all adds up to a very nice buy. Violins by Bellini ans Zygmuntovich sell for very high prices, and it could be argued that Morassi is easily their equal. Larry.
  3. There is an older recording by Louis Kaufman which is excellent.
  4. To my knowledge neither Robert Cauer nor Tom Metzler are currently making violins. Please correct me if I am wrong.
  5. I haven't tried Pirastro string oil, but my guess is that oil is oil, and any good quality light oil will do it. Phillip Kass recommended olive oil to me, and that's what I use, with good results- also on wound Eudoxa's. Larry.
  6. Glen - Good to hear from you. I still can't quite figure out why new U.S. violins by the big names are used more than some of the excellent older makers, (with the exception of Becker Sr.) Speaking of which, I have seen and tried out quite a number of Becker Sr. violins over the past few years.They are mostly excellent sounding, beautifully made, with spectacular wood. But I still would have to say that they didn't seem overall better than a host of other violins from the same period. I think the real kicker is their beauty in appearance. Re "looking toward the East" - you are speaking of China, am I right? I don't want to start another whole thing on Chinese violins, but I really feel that as we get to know the makers by name, and learn about their lives, training, working methods etc. they will no longer be simply lumped together in one catch-all category. Please, all you excellent makers over in China, let us get to know you better! Tell us a story, send a picture of your workshop, the street you live on, tell us your hobbies, and whether you like to cook, and if so what. I for one am all ears.
  7. Hi Manfio - The process of recognition is sometimes tediously slow, and tied up with outside factors. As you have mentioned, your instruments are liked by top professionals, so why don't we hear your name more? It's quite simply Buenes Aires, IMHO. Move to Cremona, Bologna, Milan, and boom. Everybody will have you on their list (I mean even more than now.) Strange but true...
  8. I personally believe that most of the fine makers which have been mentioned here will become a part of the mainstream more and more over the next few years, and decades. It is simple economics. The old Cremona violins as well as classic French, i.e. Lupot, Vuillaume, continue to become more in-accessible to the average player, due to the price run-ups which are ongoing. At the time that I owned my De Chaponay Strad, I was one among innumerable players, teachers etc. who had some extra cash , and wanted to use it so as to fulfill a dream. Today, no way is that possible, except for the very select few. All the great old fiddles are gradually going to foundations, museums, banks etc. And this is only the beginning. Players in the know have been using great American violins for quite some time. (By the way, nobody has mentioned Reindahl, who seems to be suddenly on the way to top status). I believe that one reason the great U.S. makers are being recognised more now is economic necessity. Who has $500K to spend on an instrument anymore? The time is right for modern makers of all nationalities, and everybody has their names on the tip of their tongue. It used to be that the great old Italians were owned not only by concert players, but also by orchestra musicians, the doctor in Brooklyn, the freshman at Curtis, Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, the insurance man in Boca Raton, and the string teacher in the mid-West. That time is past. We are going through a re-classification of makers and instruments, and making the happy discovery that there are enough great sounding, great looking instruments for anybody who really wants one. They have always been available and always will be. Our minds are beginning to open.
  9. Larakitten - Don't forget to oil the strings, they will become as stable as any other . Best, Larry.
  10. Other nationalities get almost totally ingored as well - When was the last time anyone raved about their Swiss, Danish, Swedish, Spanish or Portugese violin? The list goes on and on. O.K. Back to the topic, I wasn't trying to hijack. Many people maintain that Becker Sr. was the greatest "American" maker. And yet - Is there any well- known soloist who actually performs on one? Any soloist using a Sacconi?
  11. apartmentluthier - Thank you very much for the great link. The article clears up a lot of questions.
  12. I have a violin by Alfred Lanini, made in 1920, with original label and branded inside and under the button on the bottom of the ribs. It is a beautiful instrument, a very flat modified Strad copy. The varnish is chestnut brown and lustrous, the tone smooth and resonant. A real concert instrument, showing the influences of Romeo Antoniazzi and Celeste Farotti, both of whom were his teachers in Milan. There was recently a similar one of the same period sold on Tarisio. Strangely, there have been a number of Laninis from later periods also turning up on Tarisio and dealers websites which have a much cruder aspect to them, almost as if they were made by somebody else. The examples I am thinking of show less refinement and skill. They have labels but none have the brand inside and under the end button. Is anybody knowlegeable about Lanini, and could you shed some light on the discrepancy in the quality of the later as opposed to the earlier instruments? Is it possible that he allowed violins by his son or his students to be labeled with his name and sold as his work? Any light on this would be appreciated. Larry.
  13. Getting the fingerboard planed might be a solution, provided that there is enough thickness to spare. Larry.
  14. Glenn - I had forgotten that Menuhin was a long term yoga practioner. He also made some wonderful recordings with Ravi Shankar, and played an important part in showing the benefits of yoga practise to westerners. Larry.
  15. Menuhin always suffered from nerves. I heard him perform live many times, including a memorable performance of the Elgar concerto around the late 60's. He had a tremor which was quite visible in his bowing, and I often noticed that as he prepared to place his bow on the string his right hand would tremble with almost a vibrato-like movement. In spite of this, his Elgar performance was sublime, and he played heroically and flawlessly. Much later he played a recital in Los Angeles (around '86), and again it was sublimely beautiful, although he was visibly waging a battle with himself. Somewhere along the way Menuhin's nerves were shattered, and he could never fully recover. I have to say however that out of about 7 or 8 live performances of his which I attended, he always rose to the occasion and played exquisitely. Best, Larry.
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