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Who is number three?


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Katorina Guarneri .........:-)

If I already owned a Strad and a Del Gesù violin I'd probably be looking for a great Carlo Bergonzi to buy next...

for cellos and violas my list would be different (partly because of availability...) and Strad is the only name I would want on all three lists.

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How about a round of aplause here for Andrea Amati

celebrating his 500th this year?

Fairly widely regarded as the father-figure of the violin

in that he essentially settled on a form that has lasted ever since.

Failing that, what about Nicola Amati, teacher of

Stradivari and just about everyone else that mattered in Cremona.


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I guess your answer depends on your criteria:

-- Most coveted by violinists: Stradivari and del Gesu clearly top 2. Third? Maybe GB Guadagnini

-- Highest priced violins: Again Stradivari and del Gesu are top 2. Third? Probably another early to mid 18th century Cremonese, maybe Carlo Bergonzi.

--Best known to the general public: Stradivari, Amati because of use in crossword puzzles. Third: Michael Darnton. Google "darn violin" to see why.

--Most influential in development: Andrea Amati, Nicolo Amati (at one point in history, about the only maker to survive the plague, and carry on violin making), Stradivari, del Gesu, Stainer.

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Vuillume?...Very good, but not great (in my opinion) The eye tends to bounce off a Vuillume rather than being attracted in and the tone is ok but not great.

My third choice would be The Brothers Amati....Something about their work just wows me...particularly their scrolls and corners.

Alternatively....I think violin making is most interesting now since the demise of the great Cremonese period. There are some great makers working now...Perhaps number 3 is alive and working in our time..?

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