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Bows used by famous violinists?


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I've read that Heifetz used a bow by the St. Petersburg bowmaker Nikolas Kittel. Francescatti's two favorite bows were by Peccatte and Lamy, but he also used "two splendid Voirins," matching the bow with the concert program, ccording to Zino Francescatti, by Charles de Couessin and Gaetane Prouvost (Paris & Montreal 1999), p. 152.

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Alfredo Campoli had several bows by great French makers but his favorites were those of Voirin (one of which I'm lucky to have). However, in his last years of concertizing (1970's and early 80's, he acquired a new Hill bow which he used almost exclusively until the end of his career.

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I believe Campoli played on the 'Dragonetti' Strad of 1696??

I have several of his recordings which fully demonstrate his bel canto style. He resided at Winchmore Hill in London from where he kindly sent me an autographed photo back in the early 1970s.

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Hello Tononi,

Yes, Campoli owned the Dragonetti Strad, dated, I believe, 1700. He had owned other Strads earlier in his career. However, in his later years, he favoured Roccas of which he had three (one of which, "The Irish", I now have). Late in his career, he acquired a John Lott on which he made his last recording (Handel Sonatas) for Nimbus which unfortunately was never issued and the masters apparently have now been lost.

Shortly before he retired, he and his wife moved to Thame in Oxfordshire and there he spent a few happy years teaching a few gifted students and pursuing one of his passions, Bridge, at which he was very accomplished.

Mrs. Campoli still lives in Thame. She is a spry ninety but unfortunately has lost her eyesight.

You would probably enjoy the biography of Alfredo by David Tunley which appeared a couple of years ago: "The Bel Canto Violin".


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Many thanks for the interesting reply. What a pity about the Handel Sonatas. I had no idea that Mrs Campoli moved to Thame and I shall certainly try to obtain a copy of the biography.

I believe Albert Sammons was a Bridge player too; entirely self-taught, he could play the Elgar like no one else in my humble opinion. Campoli, Sammons and Max Jaffa made ends meet with light music in the 1930s I believe - Palm Court Orchestra etc and possibly because of that one or two of the critics tended to regard them with distain, totally unfairly.


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