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I just heard Paganini's Violins ! Questions?


WesRist
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Thanks for confirming that. So, my next question is, was it a good copy?

By the way, my source was the Millant book on Vuillaume. As I recall, Paganini was in Paris for a performance and something went wrong with the Canon. In the brief period that Vuillaume had to work on it, he took all the violin's measurements and cranked out his first copy, which Paganini liked almost as much as the original. Many subsequent Guarneri copies by other makers are actually based on those Vuillaume measurements. As a tireless innovator, I wonder whether Vuillaume "improved" the Canon in his copies.

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Hey Ttk, I did not ask the weight of the Violin nor was I one to touch it, so I'm sorry I can't help you.

I also don't know about the story about using the same log, but the back is two piece, that's all I know.

To correct an earlier post, the program DOES SAY Paganini did NOT use a chin rest. And that he spent about half his time looking for chiropractors when going from town to town.

And WOW, what big cabinets you have Grandma!!! Guess I should've reduced that photo a bit. Sorry.

Wes R

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Hello Manfio!

The program I have actually lists everyone known to have played the Canon, I suppose since records were being kept, and in 1937 it appears Antonio Abussi was the player. Know him?

I have some definate opinions about the Vuillaume copy which I will also share in a future post. Meanwhile I'll try to get a picture of me with the Canon and the Luthier on here next.

Best!

Wes R

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Basically, I was twelve when I got it, and ready for a full size. My mother met Michael Koeberling on the net because he had posted a link somewhere to free violin posters, she ordered a few, he sent them, and it turns out they were of his copy of the ex Joachim Strad. He e-mailed her back to see if she liked them, they started talking by e-mail, and he suggested he make me a violin. I was obssessed by Paganini at the time, so I wanted a copy of Il Cannone. It took him nine months, and then he hand delivered it from Germany- he's a really nice guy.

I don't think there's anything I could add to it to make it better- maybe an authentic del Gesu label might help- but it has a very clear, refined sound that fills any room you put it in. Plus it came with a Musafia "Hermitage" case.

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Richf

And now about the Vuillaume (Sivori). You have the story correct as to how it came to be, but what about the sound?

Well, in the recital I heard, the Canon played 1st and the Sivori played 2nd, so direct comparisons came frequently. When I heard the Sivori by itself I was actually shocked...SHOCKED I say...that it wasn't a closer sound to the Canon. For some of the pieces it played lower, bass type notes so it sounded bassy, but when playing the whole range of music it didn't seem to change from that original assessment. I'd say it's significantly more mellow and deep than the Canon, perhaps that's why Paganini eventually sold it? It didn't seem to have much of an edge either to make up for it. Sort of between a Violin sound and a Viola sound. I know, strong language, but that's what I think.

So, NOW who want's a copy of the Sivori?

Best Wishes

Wes R

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I thought that him spending about half his time looking for chiropractors was a joke.

Firstly, as far as I know, "chropractic" wasn't invented yet.

And, It seems very funny that such a wizard as Paganini would be so dependent on such a thing (not much better than myself), and if he did, I can't understand why he didn't use a chinrest (and perfect shoulder pad). I'm assuming that such a thing would have helped him, and that NOT using one was contributing to his suffering.

On another note, how many people here believe that if we actually heard Paganini play, we would be enthralled and that it is something which we simply can't even imagine?

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Thanks for the comments on the Vuillaume. I didn't know that it was called the "Sivori." Does that mean Sivori owned it, too. Did Paganini really sell the Vuillaume? The Millant book made it sound like it was a prized possession. I wonder how it came to be displayed side by side with the Canon.

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Staylor

Sorry, but I thought you could see that I was

KIDDING about the Chiropractic adjustments. I thought "half his time" would be a sufficient exaggeration to ensure this. It's just that I keep throwing my neck out from playing and have to see my guy every 2nd week, and I HAVE a chin (and shoulder) rest . Bugger!

Wes R

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Shankster

Why the Canon sounds the way it does is a bit out of my league, but I can quote from the program:

"Some of it's features differ from the standard: the sound box is slightly shorter, it's sound quality is brighter and the vibrating string is longer than the average.

Both the sound box and the belly are considerably thicker and there is a remarkable difference in length between the two soundholes.

The sides are taller near the block, whereas the scroll bears an eloquent expressiveness."

I KNEW IT!!!

Oh, and one more thing...I asked the Luthier what kind of strings they used....are you ready for this....he said they use DOMINANTS!!! JUST LIKE MINE !!!!!!! (Still, I'm gonna try Obligatos next... )

Wes R

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Richf???(I always wondered what the f stood for...hmmm)

Yes, Camillo Sivori owned the Vuillaume. And the story is told correctly about how it came to him and how the money flowed in the other post here.

While the program says Paganini liked the violin, and offered to buy it, I wonder if after having it for a while he saw it's limitations, and was therefor open to parting with it. Like I said, the sound was not like the Canon. And why would he even part with it at all, only 7 years later, if it gained him no money?

Wes R

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Mr. Darnton

Thank you for your post! I never looked at that picture critically since I didn't take it, but rather I scanned it from the program and posted it here (rather, Jerry posted it for me-Thanks!). Looking at it now I can see some things do tip me off:

1-The chin rest is off of the Canon-perhaps that's why the Luthier was there, to remove the chin rest which was used for the performance.

2-The chin rest on the "non-Canon" is brown, whereas the picture I have of the Sivori (coming soon) is black.

Aside from that, how you guys can get more out of that photo is truly miraculous! Because color alone can be funny when it comes to photography. Care to elaborate? Of course, since you've photographed them yourself you probably know more from those pictures (cheater!) . Could you also let us know why a Vuillaume-Strad would be displayed? Who's was it, etc.???

Quoting from the program again: "Some time after Sivori's death, in 1894, his heirs donated the violin to the Municipality of Genoa, which since then has been keeping it at Palazzo Tursi, together with Paganini's Violin".

Your comment confused me a bit when you said "so if there's a switch, it wasn't recently." I think you meant to say "so if there's a switch, it was recently.

Best wishes!

Wes R

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Here's some background from the Millant book: "No sooner had JBV got his hands on the violin <the Canon>, than he made an exact copy. When the 'chef d'oeuvre' was completed, he confronted Paganini with the instrument's twin. Paganini said nothing, looked carefully at the instrument <yes, you're correct, Millant had to be observing all this from the behind the couch> and put a bow across the strings. After a few moments, he exclaimed to Vuillaume: 'It's marvellous, would you consider selling it to me?' and sold it was at 5000 francs. Some years later the violin changed hands and became the property of the famous violinist Sivori, Paganini's favourite pupil." Sivori is then quoted as saying that Paganini considered the Vuillaume the equal of a Guarneri in sound.

I may not be able to tell a Strad from a Guarneri, but I'm sure Vuillaume, Paganini, and Sivori could, and I have a lot of faith in Michael, too. So logic dictates, if that Vuillaume is a Strad model, it ain't the "Sivori." Moreover, if it was there when Michael photographed the Canon 10 years ago, he is correct in saying "if there's a switch, it wasn't recently."

Wes, we're going to have to send someone from the Fingerboard back to Genoa to sort this out. Volunteers?

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speaking of Strads--according to the Jose Sanchez Penzo website Paganini only had one Del Gesu but a bunch of Strads--are any of these in the Museum?? and did Penzo make a mistake when he attributed the 1724 (vs1742) violin as the one with the big tone (if this is true then he was talking about a Strad?)

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