Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

What if Del Gesù lived today...


MANFIO
 Share

Recommended Posts

We all know the problems that Guarneri Del Gesù faced in his life: shortage of money, humble clients, a childless marriage, family debts that obliged him to live almost from hand to mouth, etc.

Well, and if Del Gesù lived today? He certainly would be one of today`s celebrated makers. He would command high prices for his instruments, so he would have no money problems and would pay his family debts. He would make violins for the most celebrated violinists of our time. Aided by modern medicine, he and his beloved Catarina Rotta would have lots of sons that would be capable to perpetrate his school, so his family tradition in violin making would not die with him. With the aid of his children, he would make much more violins, as did Stradivari. He would give speaches, publish expensive books, make expertise etc. He would be happy, and he would make the string community happier.

This is the firs scenario. The other is the following: modern clients would not accept his idiosyncratic style. He would be advised to make more "disciplinate" instruments, in the manner of Strad, Amati, etc. (why create your own style if we already have such models?)His ever changing style would not suit the modern market (a more standardized work would certainly be preferred). He would have to perfection his purfling too, and stop using green and unseasoned wood. He would be adivised to make his backs thinnner (6 mmm never!). Clients and dealers would not accept his father making his scrolls or his wife helping in the work, it would not be considered professional. And all those toll marks! North American and European musicians would not accept his instruments (Hummm as a matter of fact I`m looking for an old violin...) that would again go to humble players, now perhaps in South America or Africa... Dealers would convince him to make copies, that sell better. Tops made with halves of different trees would not be accepted too. Eventualy, he would get confused reading so many books and articles about violin making, with so many different theories, and perhaps would loose his faith in his own ideas. He certainly would see points of connection between his work and the works of famous makers from the past, but while his purfling would be considered poor, the past maker`s purfling would be described as "unshamed waving purfling", makers from the past would be praised for their "sculptural style", he would have to listen that his work was crude while works of past makers were described as "an explosion of freedom and expression".

Eventualy, he would have to change profession, to work in Venice in the Tourism industry (as did Pietro, his brother)or even in the web.

Anyway, I think that if Del Gesù lived today, there would be no Canone, no Carrodus, no Violon du Diable, etc, since he would face more problems today than he faced in his old Cremona. (sorry for my poor english and my pessimism).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I think the second scenario would be true, but he would have some success, and his violins would be revalued later on, much as it actually happened.

Interesting to think about. Everybody thinks his violins are beautifull now, but i think many people would not accept a similarly eccentric maker until years of tonal proof in the real world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To accept that the best has already been attained is to accept defeat, and to shun the acheivement of perfection (you may never achieve it but why let that stop you). What if Tiger Woods had said......"Well, Nicholas, Hogan, and Palmer could never be equaled, so why even try to develope my own style. I'll just buy a bunch of videos and model myself, the best I can, after one of these great masters." That Strad, Amati, etc. were masters is true, and that we might learn much from them is true also,.....however, to say they will never be equaled is rubbish! Never is along time. So here's a toast to the "Next Generation" of masters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think Del Gesu instruments would sound as good, if he was making them in Cremona today? Do you think his tone would be above the rest of the modern makers, anywhere? Dare we admit he and his fellow makers of that day, knew something special that we do not know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MANFIO, I think you're right on the mark. Although talent will out, it won't necessarily turn to success these days, when there are so many other components to it.

I'm so jaded that I'm convinced that if del G. did everything great makers do, but employed very plain wood, he'd be lucky not to have his stuff dismissed as student quality. frown.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by DPalm:

Do you think Del Gesu instruments would sound as good, if he was making them in Cremona today? Do you think his tone would be above the rest of the modern makers, anywhere? Dare we admit he and his fellow makers of that day, knew something special that we do not know?

If he lived in Cremona today, he'd be taking Chinese white violins and finishing them as his own. He needed the money, and wanted the money, and besides (he'd think), who would care in 250 years?

Although if he lived in Cremona, he'd probably be German and have changed his name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Manfio, you have give us all a chance to reflect that not much has changed in the violin world. I was struck rereading the Hill Guarneri book about 18 months ago that most of them would not have been full time makers. They worked in other fields and had day jobs.

The Guarneri family help to establishs our tradition and perphaps part time making is apart of that tradition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything said is sensible, BUT unfortunately, he is not alive today, and will never be until somebody RESURRECT him body and spirit. I do not think we should blame him for all the attribution, after all he did not ask for it. The "expert analyst" with all their nonsense are supposed to be the ones nailed to the cross.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all. I haven`t received so many comments since my old post "I want to hire an outstanding violinist".

DPalm: I do believe that Guarneri "knew something special that we do not know", as Cellini knew, as Da Vinci knew, as Vivaldi knew, as Turner knew, as Bach knew. Gift does exist, and it makes difference. Guarneri knew what he was doing. He lived in a musical family and was surrounded by musicinas. Most probably he himself was a musician too, as Peter Guarneri of Mantova.

Donuel: there is no "happy accident" in Turner, Bach, Da Vinci or Del Gesù, just hardwork and gift. Things are not so simple. There is no Forest Gump in such fields.

Well, as a matter of fact, sound is what import, and not the purfling or the way the corners are shaped, as most of our fellow makers think. Details in sound are more important to musicians than detail in the purfling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The real test of any musical instrument is how it sounds and how it plays. I place eye appeal third in the priority of things.

Down the street from my house there are a couple of guys who opened a shop a few years ago and began making electric guitars. They now have a two year wait list for an instrument. Also some big names are now playing their instruments.

So there you have it two Joes in a grungy little shop cranking out fine instruments. I feel that Del Gesu would still be the creative genius he was regardless of when he lived.

Just imagine what Mozart would have done had he had Finale midi linked to his keyboard. There would have been more like 7,000 wonderful pieces written by him instead of 700 odd.

I would like to see what Mr. Stravinsky would have done with a synthesizer and modern equipment given literally an unlimited pallet of sound to work with.

The next time you try out a violin, close your eyes, pick it up gently, feel it and then let it sing to you. Lastly look at it closely. It will tell you its story if you listen.

Respectfully

Don Crandall

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Stepan Demirdjian:

MrWoof,after your post I figured for a moment Paganini with el.violin like Vanessa Mae. Would be rich,but not him self.

I beg pardon, but I don't understand the meaning of your response. Perhaps I'm dense today.

wink.gif

Don Crandall

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MrWoof: I don`t agree with you. Technology is making nothing for arts in general, with exceptions (as music registration, for instance). With all this high tech paraphernalia I see no Herman Mellvilles, no Mozarts, no Bocherinis around. It may be more easy to compose music in the computer, but who is using it to compare with prolific composers such Mozart, Vivaldi or Telleman?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by MANFIO:

MrWoof: I don`t agree with you. Technology is making nothing for arts in general, with exceptions (as music registration, for instance). With all this high tech paraphernalia I see no Herman Mellvilles, no Mozarts, no Bocherinis around. It may be more easy to compose music in the computer, but who is using it to compare with prolific composers such Mozart, Vivaldi or Telleman?

Hmmm, It is not any easier to write a good piece with a computer than without. The composition comes out of you. It is far easier to notate your ideas with the tools we have now. I spent plenty of hours slaving over manuscript when I was in college. I can spend more creative energy working out and testing ideas now because of excellent software like Finale. Would you go back to a typerwriter after you had a word processor? I think not.

As to the implied notion that there are no Mozarts or Bachs today, kindly remember that these men were exceptional geniuses. There is plenty of wonderful new music being written today, seek it out it is there.

Respectfully

Don Crandall

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...