Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

That was 43,000 rubles, right?


Recommended Posts

$35K start price? What a huge discount from his first listing of this instrument ($499K?).

Incidentally, has anyone paid attention to the server domain for the video download? Online dating for this violin, anyone?

Finally, unlike most MNetters, I do understand the language in the video. That fact however, made me laugh even harder when I watched it. These guys are either complete amateurs or serious eBAY clowns.

ATB, Gary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Norma, there was nothing in particular that stands out. It's more how one guy, presumably the player was directing the "cameraman". Then in the second video, when the player was announcing to the enthralled audience that he will demonstrate the sound of the violin. As you could see, this was so amateurish... The thing that really cracks me up is that mostly due to the fact that there are no experts in that part of the world to authenticate instruments properly as well as lack of information on the makers (books, pics, Ed Baxter's DB, Internet access), many of these musicians are being sold el cheapo german factory instruments at inflated prices and are being told that they have a genuine old Italian. I've already posted earlier in another thread how I was asked to evaluate a possibly "genuine" Bergonzi for a Ukrainian acquaintance. After shlepping it through Germany, France and New York to home, it was quickly identified by both resident MNetters and local experts as a decently made german factory fiddle not worth (in a mint condition - it's not!) more than $1000. What's really funny is that after I sent it back to Ukraine, he sold it to someone in Russia for $4K! Insane...

ATB, Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh brother!

Well, considering that in '96, when I gave a young violinist in Rivno (sp?)a new cake of Hill rosin I had brought, and it was recieved as a miraculous gift, I shouldn't be surprised that there is little knowledge. But it seems that if they can produce violinists as well trained as I met there, they should be producing luthiers and people knowledgeable enough to appraise instruments accurately. And then again, maybe the issue is what was available there, as in supply /demand. If fine fiddles are indeed rare there, then the next level down has to be quite costly to the average music student.

Therefore, lesser instruments are in demand because they are what's available at a price one MIGHT be able to finance.

And then consider that with several generations of Ukrainians being basically isolated from the finer instruments, unable to hear the sound of a truly fine fiddle, even the older teachers will not know how to evaluate an instrument as it would be in the western world. And that isolation would in itself lend to violinmakers being unable to copy the really good qualities of master violins.

Interesting questions to ponder.

No WONDER the Kiev customs folks jumped on me so fast when I put my fiddle through the x-ray machine!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


sorry for a prolonged silence - been away on a business trip.

I totally agree with your observations, especially about old teachers not being able to evaluate instruments. However, I tend to disagree with you on the violinmakers there. There are basically two types there: the old guard, trained in the Soviet days w/o much access to other makers or top instruments; and the new generation, some of which trained in Cremona and elsewhere in Italy. I've dealt with both types in the recent years. The old guard makes generally clunky stuff that gives Eastern European instruments a bad name. However, the new generation guys are good, some real good. Their instruments easily can compete with Cremonese on merits in both workmanship and sound. Check out some past threads. I am a distributor for a couple of the makers who are my friends. My own violin is a modern by my friend Alex Smykovsky, a young talented Ukrainian maker. I've taken this violin to the best shops here in Philly and heard nothing but praises. And at one shop I compared it to a couple of violins by Conia, Jr. of Cremona whose violins were listed at more than double the price of mine. And those just did not stack up in looks or sound with my "Smykovsky".

Here's another observation. Just as there is a dire need of basic supplies there (rosins, strings, etc.) there are even fewer good bows than violins there. I have a friend from my music college days there. She is a violist with one of the top symphonies there. Until I sent her a basic old German viola bow, she played with an old Soviet made viola bow. Recently, I sent her a couple of sets of strings. One of the sets was a Larsen. She told me that until then, only one violist could brag that he had a Larsen ... A-string! I was afraid to ask what the others use for strings, old wires?

And yet, just like you observed, these people persevere and many are top quality musicians performing with much enthusiasm even when they sometimes don't have money to buy even basic stuff.

ATB, Gary

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.

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.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...