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I just heard Paganini's Violins ! Questions?


WesRist
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1.What did they sound like?

2. Is it atleast a great luthier who knows exactly how to keep them atleast like they were when Paganini was using them?

3.If you tried one, how did it feel?

4. I'm not asking more questions as they have already been asked, and I'm waiting excitedly for any answers you may have!

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OK, first Mr. Schutz.

His main Violin was a Guarnerius, called the Canon (or Cannone in Italian) it had a big sound, but not too bassy. Nice and even with a smooth transition to the high register.

The Canon was in fairly rough shape. The Luthier said the neck had been off, and they found the nails used previously, and just left them in. I doesn't appear any restorative work has been done.

I asked why the darkness around the bridge, and as you probably know, it was from the dark rosin they used. He said it was too risky to try to remove it so they are leaving it on.

In the program notes they said his instrument was made different and so it was tougher for others to play. I asked him what that meant, and he said the body was actually longer than standard, and therefor the neck was shorter, making reaches in the upper positions more difficult. Neat, eh?

There is a chin rest on the instrument now and I would guess it's been on there from the beginning. Actually both instruments had chin rests.

I have a picture of the front of both instruments but I don't know how to get them on here. Ideas?

Next!

Wes R

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"In the program notes they said his instrument was made different and so it was tougher for others to play. I asked him what that meant, and he said the body was actually longer than standard, and therefor the neck was shorter, making reaches in the upper positions more difficult. Neat, eh?"

Yeah, Paganini had a different body from most of us- and I think he cut any webbing he had between his already long fingers as well. For some reason, though, I don't have any trouble in the higher positions on my copy of the Cannon.

"it had a big sound, but not too bassy. Nice and even with a smooth transition to the high register."

sounds like my copy of the Cannon- people at camp identified it from a recording of me tuning it. It's really not the deepest sound either, but it's certainly big.

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Dear FSViolin:

OK, I got the program now so I can answer all of your questions:

1-The Canon was played by Mario Trabucco. He started with a couple of Caprices, and then his wife (a real dish) accompanied him with the Vuillaume for several pieces. Mario has been retained to play the instrument once a month to keep it in condition.

2-The Violins are kept in a built-in wall cabinet in the room adjacent to the performing room, so transportation was not "demonstrated". There is a Violin case in the cabinet as well.

3-I came within inches of touching them, but thought asking to "touch" it would be an immature move on my part. It probably feels like wood, and would probably not impart any special powers upon me to help me with my runs, etc..

4-I didn't look at the case, but I have several photos I would love to share, but they're only in jpg so I don't know how to get them on here. One picture is of the storage cabinet. I will gladly E-mail them to anyone who asks.

5-Yes, see the post of the gent with the copy on this topic.

6-Yes, tons of it!! (As mentioned earlier)

7-There is evidence EVERTHING has happened to this violin!! Seriously though, the back is quite worn as one might expect from no shoulder rest usage, but most puzzling was a zig-zag pattern, like an engraving, around the finger board on the top wood, about 5mm wide. Weird!

8-I didn't ask that, sorry. Since it is played so rarely, I imagine no chemicals are used for that. I wish I knew the name of the Luthier, I could then ask.

I was lucky to attend this event and I owe it all to these guys:

www.niccolopaganini.it/inglese.html Friends of Paganini

Go to the Site Map at the bottom for stuff you've probably never seen. I will speak more about them under a different posting.

Thanks for asking! Next!

Wes R

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"Il Cannone" looks in quite nice shape compared to many violins of that vintage. Hasn't had the neck grafted or lots of cracks repaired. Looks better than my beat up old violin.

Came apart because of dry storage, completly reglued by Candi in 1937. 353 mm body, 197 mm stop, bouts of 168/111/207 mm. Neck is slightly short, would need to measure the drawing I'm looking at. Strad poster indicate asymmetric graduation of the top with 3.4 mm thickness in the middle. Back is 6.3 mm max. Quite hefty. Plenty of chin wear under that chinrest. The rosin was apparently there early from what I can tell in the book I'm looking at. The pattern shows the original bridge position about 12 mm towards the tail piece from the inner notches of the F hole. All this worry about graduation design and the maker's intent when the bridges were in a different spot originally!

So far our del Gesu models have really kicked a**. We're doing a copy of "Il Cannone" this winter, which is why I have the information at hand. I'm excited. Will see if I can let myself leave the plates as thick as the original or not.

Hope this is helpful.

Steve

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...and now for some of the other questions...

Was he skinny? Check out the web site I placed in an earlier post (Friends of Paganini). They have more portraites of him than anywhere else. Really, a jewel of a site.

Smell? I didn't try the sniff test. Interesting comment though. Perhaps I could have licked it?

And Mr. STaylor, I hope I've covered your questions by now too?

Thanks again! Who's next?

Wes R

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...and now Linuxviolin....

Sounds like you have a fascinating violin, was it expensive?

I checked out the Web site, that picture looks exactly like the original, are the photos there of the original, or their copy? If your instrument looks like that then WOW, what a great knock off!

Question: The notes for the violin say:"The baroque curving of the neck makes the playing difficult to some violinists." I wonder if they mean as you look at the neck from the side, it would appear the underside is not as straight as others, but sort of arched. What do you think?

Thanks!

Wes R

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Had a chance last year to to hear the Cannone --but missed out..

question (also for Flamenco)--did the curator mention the weight of the violin? I've seen somewhere that though the plates maybe thick, the actual violin is relatively light..

and did they mentioned anything about the back?--a local luthier told me he read a biography of del Gesu and that all the backs of his violin came from a single log..any validity??

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My violin is the one pictured on the website. I took some pictures, but I can't figure out how to get them posted, and for some reason 50megs.com won't let me post a 972k image.

It cost me $8000 in '98, but Koeberling's rates have increased since. I think he's charging between $12k and $15k now.

I don't have any problems playing this violin, but I've got really big hands as well. The neck on my violin is definitely shorter than that on my mother's (also from Koeberling- but made in 2000 and it is standard lengths), but when I stand them next to each other, my violin is longer. I really don't see any out of the ordinary arching, either. One really cool feature is that the f-holes are of different sizes, and off center.

Bob Raymond

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Hey Richf! You're RIGHT!

The two instruments are kept together in the same wall cabinet. It was interesting to see wherever I went in Italy and saw expensive violins, like at the Strad Museum or the Cremona Town Hall Collection of Violins, that they monitored the temp. and humidity, and kept them at 20-22c and 60-65% respectively.

I will get a picture of the Cabinet on here soon.

Thanks!

Wes R

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