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Secrets of Nicolo Amatti


canofspam123
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Now here's a plot worth grabbing!

WHY is there nothing concrete written about the Amati family? Their instruments figure largely in The Strad poster series. Is it the case that they do not conform to the now accepted "norm" of style and model? If so, then I think that this is a retrograde step; we learn from what has gone before. I made two A & H model violins just to appreciate the difference between them and Strad.

Michael D - I note with appreciation your photography on master violins, notably JBG, in Rosengard's work. in recent months. Have you never/ever been approached to photograph any of the Amati works and put them out in a wholistic body?

Mike

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Mike--for 15 years I did all the archive photos for Bein & Fushi--probably more than 4000 violins. Yes, there were a lot of Amatis in that number. I believe B&F will eventually be publishing something, but I don't know what, and I doubt it will be about Amatis.

Part of the problem with an Amati publication will be the lack of hard info, combined with the interest of the right person to write the book. It's relatively recent that Sacconi did his book, and then there are the del Gesu books in the last couple of years, but books for makers don't hold the same interest for connoiseurs as do books for connoisseurs, so the next one will surely be a long time coming. . . but only if there's someone with a burning interest in Amati who wants to write the book!

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No. There are only a couple of books centered on the Amati family--Dan Draley's translation of some geneological stuff, Doring's pamphlet of reprints from Violins and Violinist mag, and a catalogue of Andrea Amati instruments--and nothing technical like the Sacconi book or the recent Biddulph publication on del Gesu.

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In the book "The Acoustic Systems of Antonio Stradivari and Other Cremona Makers" by Isaac Vidgorwich (I`m not sure of the correct name of the book and author) the author explains the Amati system of graduating plates and other aspects of their violins. It`s not a simple system.

By the way, some new book like Sacconi`s I SEGRETI DI STRADIVARI would be wellcame, but I`m afraid we will have to wait a lot for another masterpiece like that. It would depend not only of the writer`s "conoscenza" of the subject, but also (and more difficult) of his generosity to comnmit it to paper and make such knowlegment avaiable.

[This message has been edited by MANFIO (edited 08-08-2001).]

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Michael: I don`t agree with you. I think Sacconi`s book is more important. Sacconi makes almost no quotations, while Bidulph`s book cites Saconni`s book almost all the time!

Bidulph`s book is great (although I expected more from it) but it had the benefits our modern times. It would be impossible to Sacconi to publish a book of such size, with so many photos and diagrams in 1971, the date of publication of I Segreti di Stradivari.

[This message has been edited by MANFIO (edited 08-09-2001).]

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If we're going to award extra points for battling against a lack of technology, the Hill Strad book wins, hands down.

My preference for the Biddulph books lies in their essential difference from Sacconi's--Sacconi provides no primary data, only his conclusions. As one looks closer at his conclusions, in comparison to the actual instruments, the basis on which he made them becomes more and more unclear. Sacconi is often wrong, but instead of being provided the basic data needed to make new conclusions, readers are forced to discard whole sections of his book, wholesale, without any chance of formulating new ideas from the informaiton they might have contained, but don't. The Biddulph books are short on conclusions, but extremely comprehensive in providing the basic data which one can use in forming one's own ideas.

[This message has been edited by Michael Darnton (edited 08-09-2001).]

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