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bean_fidhleir

A lesson for us all, perhaps

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"Fiddler Ron Gonnella was originally from Dundee, and lived for many years in Crieff, Perthshire until his death in 1994. Gonnella's great grandfather was a Robert Dewar, who was a shepherd near Tulliemet in Perthshire. Ron Gonnella recorded at least fifteen albums and taught at Morrison's Academy in Crieff for many years. When he wasn't there he was travelling the world playing Scottish fiddle, recording albums, and performing on radio, stage and dance halls.

The instrument he mostly played was a 1722 Italian violin made by Carlo Antonio Tanegia. I have been told that after his death there were a number of fiddlers desperate to try it to achieve the same wonderful tone that Gonnella produced; in the end it turned out to be a mediocre fiddle, and it was the musician who was special, not the instrument."

(from http://www.nigelgath...lers/gonel.html, emphasis mine. I'm listening at the mo to a recording of Gonnella playing Scott Skinners medley Miss Laura Andrew/Laird of Drumblair/BonnieBanchory on Skinner's own Stroh fiddle--which sounds quite remarkable, especially considering it was a block of wood with an aluminium horn)

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"...in the end it turned out to be a mediocre fiddle, and it was the musician who was special, not the instrument."

True, the old saw "it's not the pen it's the penmanship" is valid to a certain extent, but the reality is much more nuanced;

it is moreover a particular player's response and interaction with a particular violin (how well the fiddle 'works' for them) that suits him/her the best that is key to producing the best result, as evidenced by several examples which have been discussed here.

Sarah Chang and her decision to play her 1717 filius Andrea when she and Stern saw it as an immediate "fit", how it clicked with her, is but one example.

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"...in the end it turned out to be a mediocre fiddle, and it was the musician who was special, not the instrument."

True, the old saw "it's not the pen it's the penmanship" is valid to a certain extent, but the reality is much more nuanced;

it is moreover a particular player's response and interaction with a particular violin (how well the fiddle 'works' for them) that suits him/her the best that is key to producing the best result, as evidenced by several examples which have been discussed here.

Sarah Chang and her decision to play her 1717 filius Andrea when she and Stern saw it as an immediate "fit", how it clicked with her, is but one example.

Not quite sure what to say about your example...

But, there are good violinists who can make most any violin sound good. On their journey upward, they likely played a Collin-Mezzin, not a Strad, and this is where they were first noticed.

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