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TedN

Amati book

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What is the most authoritiative book covering the history of the Amati family? I see "The Amati's DNA" and "Andrea Amati and the birth of the violin". 

 

Are these the best sources of information, or is there a better source?

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Many lament the fact there was never a Hill book on the Amati family to make up a 'trilogy' with Stradivari and Guarneri.

Was it ever considered I wonder?

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The only book I know of is "A Geneology of the Amati Family of Violin Makers 1500-1740"  Published 1989 by The Maecenas Press, edited by Daniel Draley.  It is a translation of a 1938 book by Carlo Bonetti:  "La Genealogia degli Amati Liutai e Il Primato della Scuola Liutistica Cremonese."  I don't know how authoritative it is considered.

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Great. Thanks Will. I'll look into that. I'm surprised by the lack of scholoarship in this area. Maybe they didn't leave behind much of a record.

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The only book I know of is "A Geneology of the Amati Family of Violin Makers 1500-1740"  Published 1989 by The Maecenas Press, edited by Daniel Draley.  It is a translation of a 1938 book by Carlo Bonetti:  "La Genealogia degli Amati Liutai e Il Primato della Scuola Liutistica Cremonese."  I don't know how authoritative it is considered.

I would be surprised if that were of much interest beyond genealogical details, and some indirect information, but I could be wrong.

Nor will you find it very cheap if you want a copy outside a library loan. 

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I would be surprised if that were of much interest beyond genealogical details, and some indirect information, but I could be wrong.

Nor will you find it very cheap if you want a copy outside a library loan. 

You're absolutely right.  It is not a book which will be much help for making.  I mentioned it because TedN expressed interest in "the history." And it's the only one I happen to know.  There are not the usual full size pictures and measurements that we love to have these days.

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If you haven't yet read the two Hill books on Stradivari and the Guarneris, they are a good start for reliable information on the Amatis, especially Nicolo Amati.  The issues of how much help from others Nicolo got and Stradivari's relationship with the Amati shop are brought up there.  If you have read those two books, it's worth reading them again, focusing one's attention on Nicolo Amati.

 

Also, Charles Beare's book on the 1987 Stradivari exhibition refers to Nicolo Amati, here and there.

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Many lament the fact there was never a Hill book on the Amati family to make up a 'trilogy' with Stradivari and Guarneri.

Was it ever considered I wonder?

 

The Hills actually had plans for an Amati book and had done much of the work. However, they had a big family meeting after the Guarneri book, where they decided that due to the enormous cost of producing the Strad and Guarneri books, they would not continue with the Amati project. I know how they felt. Dan translation is interesting, but these days anything written or edited by Carlo Chiesa is the bees knees.  

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The Hills actually had plans for an Amati book and had done much of the work. However, they had a big family meeting after the Guarneri book, where they decided that due to the enormous cost of producing the Strad and Guarneri books, they would not continue with the Amati project. I know how they felt. Dan translation is interesting, but these days anything written or edited by Carlo Chiesa is the bees knees.  

I agree wholeheartedly about Carlo Chiesa. More has been uncovered since the time of Bonetti. It is unfortunate that the Amati are often introduced as a prelude of what is to come later in Cremona when they were truly great in their own right.

 

Bruce

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Many lament the fact there was never a Hill book on the Amati family to make up a 'trilogy' with Stradivari and Guarneri.

Was it ever considered I wonder?

It would have made up a quartet:

 

Gio: Paolo Maggini, His Life and Work.  Compiled and edited from material collected and contributed by William Ebsworth Hill and his sons William, Arthur, & Alfred Hill.

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Yes, always hard to beat a good quartet.

 

There is some excellent writing in David Schoenbaum's "The Violin" giving some good context to the place of the Amati family in the chapter on the Golden Age of Cremona.

 

NewBooks2.jpg

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Has the "Amati's DNA" a good amount of pictures? Is it similar in style to the Asmolean Stradivarius?. Thanks

It's not exactly the same layout as the Ashmolean catalogue but there are many illustrations so that you can see the versatility of this family in two centuries of activity. As is generally the case with exhibition catalogues, most violinmakers will complain that there is not enough in the way of measurements, archings, etc.

 

In this instance we received photographs from various sources so some shots are better than others but you do get some non-standard views that are normally not seen in a catalogue.

 

Bruce

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Roger, Bruce, Thanks for that. I wonder then what happened to that collated material of the Hills on the Amati?

Sitting in a filing cabinet somewhere or lost forever? I realise research has moved on in the intervening century, of course.

 

Roger, I just read again your fuller account of the perils of publishing research on another thread from a few months back.

 

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328936-books-you-would-like-to-see-that-havent-been-written/

 

Quite moving and passionate. 

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