Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Go To Italy and Buy a New Violin


SSD1229

Recommended Posts

A few days ago, I saw a $2000 Italian (maker) violin displayed among 50 others in a local shop of my area. I did not

have a chance to try it. I cannot tell you if it was good but I did try one which was $25,000, It was pretty good. (It better be for that kind of money)

The point is that it is possible to buy an Italian violin in US as little as $2000.

(Each of these makers is a graduates of a certain violin making school in Italy

They showed you their pictures in a binder.

) Is that all you want?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think that "Italian" violins are any different nowadays, from say, canadian or german or swedish instruments? The geographical differences between instruments are mostly a thing of the past, and the great italian tradition has followers everywhere now. Italy still has some great makers, but not more, or better, than other countries. Modern makers are best judged by their individual capabilities rather than geography.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "gotta be Italian" violin buyers really want very expensive antique Cremonese violins but will settle for more recently made Italian violins if that's as much as they can afford. You may argue that new violins made anywhere can be as good as or superior to new violins made in Italy but it won't change the perception that Italian violins are better. If my violin hobby were collecting or "investing" I'd heed the market and buy Italian. My hobby is just playing so I'm easily satisfied. Well made good sounding and very responsive violins can be reasonably inexpensive if they have no collector value.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only Italian violin that I have tried that I really liked is worth more than my best car was when it was new (I have good cars). I have tried plenty that I do not like. I have tried terrible Italian violins that were as expensive as a decent house. The best violin I have ever tried was an old German violin without a label but good attribution, that could be bought for less than $10,000.

I might not be a good guide to Italian fiddles. I can barely play, but have accoustically abused hundreds of violins. More talent than I will ever have might be necessary to judge fine Italian violins. I have also driven several Ferraris that have disappointed me and only one that didn't. Maybe I have no taste...or even worse, poor taste!

Jesse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my parents were looking for a sportscar...

they had driven BMW motorcycles all their lives...

they drove Porsche Boxter and hated it...did not handle well or seem to be made well

they drove a Mazda Miata and said that it was a much superior car than the Porsche

then they drove a BMW Z3 and came home with that..

but I think they really liked the Miata better... amybe if the BMW didn't have a label that said "made i Germany" (well now South Carolina...)

having said that there are a couple young luthiers from Italy who are quite nice...like Tadioli

but I imagine that he could have been born anywhere and made some nice fiddles

...just because you're from Italy does not mean that you can make spaghetti!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently bought an authentic German sports car on eBay. TT quattro roadster It is like new, having spent its whole life in a garage on an island with only 100 miles of roads. I bought it sight unseen and it was even better than I had hoped. I have never driven a car that is as much fun. I imagine a similar thing made by Ferrari or Lamborghini would cost 5 times the price. A bit like fiddles. But I never saw a nice old Volkswagen trying to pass itself off as a Ferrari complete with fake badges, and that's the truth.

Jesse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you imagine buying a rare vintage Porsche roadster, only to find out from your mechanic several years later that it is a replica with an old VW Beetle drivetrain? I say "several years later" because unlike a really high end sportscar, an old Beetle drive train could go years between visits to the mechanic.

The used car business, considerd by many to be near the lowest form of commerce known to mankind, would never regularly sell fakes, complete with phony badges and even papers, as the real thing. Three things are always very sure and clear-the make, model, and year. Mileage claims in the past have been a bit less reliable but the Feds make a big deal of policing that. Certainly the same cannot be said for violins.

Jesse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
magnus nedregard

Do you think that "Italian" violins are any different nowadays, from say, canadian or german or swedish instruments?
[/img]
The geographical differences between instruments are mostly a thing of the past, and the great italian tradition has followers everywhere now. Italy still has some great makers, but not more, or better, than other countries. Modern makers are best judged by their individual capabilities rather than geography.

Very true. 21th century Cremona is no closer to the traditions of 18th century Cremona in violin making than Ann Arbor, Michigan, or Salt Lake City, Utah, are.

If you insist on buying an Italian violin, you might be better off, financially, buying it in the USA, because you won't be paying the Value Added Tax (VAT, which is somewhere around 20% for Italy and most of the rest of Europe, last I heard).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

...and going back to the discussion of instruments. I've played on a great number of violins from various countries. In general, I have noticed that a majority of Italian instruments from old ages to 1980s have a particular timbre that is somewhat unifying and categorizing. By all means, not all Italians are excellent, yet, there is this interesting quality of sound that is common to many.

Now, the new Italian instruments are rather disappointing from my perspective. For starters, I am not a big fan of cookie-cutter strado-guarnerian models common to the makers of today. Secondly, the tone of these is no different than that of a modern German or any other fiddle (with the exception of few makers).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I foolishly bought an "Italian violin" on ebay a number of years ago from mrz2001- I had bid on the item but was outbid, and lost it - only to then be approached and told it was still for sale - I was so desperate to buy a violin for my daughter and believed the positive feedback that I sent off the $5,000.

The violin is probably Italian according to various local luthiers - but it is very roughly and amateurishly made - it is heavy and thick and even one of the peg holes is too close to the edge - it is also semi-raw finished ie not varnished - which you couldn't tell in the glossy ebay pics. So I was done big time with no recourse as I had bought outside of the auction.

About a year after that I had saved another $5,000 and did it again - this time I had bought a viola on auction and had it valued for $5,000 more than I paid for it - so I asked the seller if they had a violin - the seller had already sold many of her supposed "collection" and had a refund policy - so I gave her $5,000 with a guarantee that I'd get a refund if not happy - this was also done outside of the auction - (I know I'm mental).

Anyway- this violin according to local luthiers is a Joseph Hornsteiner about 1803 and it is just wonderful - we recently had a cremonese exhibition here and my daughter tried a number of new cremonese instruments around $15,000 - her little old ebay violin ( and it is just slightly smaller - 352 I think) - was just as powerful and projecting but far warmer and mature. She also managed to be heard clearly and warmly over the orchestra in the Wieniawski 2nd. Mind you the $20,000 Cremonese she tried was noticeably better.

Ebay is a gamble but sometimes it does pay off. And good Italians seem to only come with a heavy price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's amusing to study the probable 16th and 17th century Cremonese violin making techniques and then compare them to these illustrated on the webpages of the Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria -- bit of a disconnect. The practices shown on the Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria web are not much different than those taught at fine schools worldwide.

Each year, out of curiosity and as an excuse to visit old friends, I travel down to David Kerr's shop in Portland Oregon to attend the touring Cremona Exhibit. Can't say that I've ever been overly impressed by what I've seen or what I've heard from that Exhibit. Perhaps if I'd seen the exhibit as it left Cremona I'd have a different view, but as it is, I have played instruments from many modern makers that I've liked far better.

For example, while in viola playing mode, I found, in David's stock, a wonderful sounding Carlene Hutchins viola that I liked far better than any of those in the Cremonese exhibit. I'd never had a chance to play a Hutchins. I was floored by he sound of this instrument (mid 80s in the numeric sequence of her output.) If I had more money, I'd have bought it in a heart beat.

I did see an Italian violin at the last VSA competition that impressed me mightily -- too bad I depended on memory to remember the maker's name. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to play it.

But, by all means, visit Italy. I've many wonderful memories of my Italian trip. I'd love to go again. Perhaps if the US $ ever regains any strength

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.

Guest
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.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...