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Landolfi

Best contemporary luthiers

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38 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Despite that, many of my most recent instruments have placed pretty well. Section leaders in major orchestras, a concertmaster or associate concertmaster or two, stuff like that

Then you would rank highly. I've only seen a couple of your instruments and I thought they were  up there. See, it works!

45 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Whew! I don't prioritize orders based on the status of the player.

I'm not sure where this came from, nothing in my post was meant to suggest this.

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12 minutes ago, deans said:

 

I'm not sure where this came from, nothing in my post was meant to suggest this.

Agreed. You so clearly said the opposite, that I thought it would be safe to use that as jumping-off point to bounce some related notions around. Maybe I should have explained that better in the first place, but after some recent traumas and bad experiences many of us have recently had on Maestronet, I am valuing economy of words even more than I did before. :lol:

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16 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

Sorry I don't speak crab...Is that your final answer?

Life has taught me that when someone isn't forthcoming with sharing their knowledge it usually means they don't have that knowledge and probably don't understand the question either.  That probably means he doesn't do any antiquing, and they just turn out that way as the best he can do :)

 

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8 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

Life has taught me that when someone isn't forthcoming with sharing their knowledge it usually means they don't have that knowledge and probably don't understand the question either.  That probably means he doesn't do any antiquing, and they just turn out that way as the best he can do :)

Life has taught me to very careful about trying to lump too many people into too few categories. ;)

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12 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

Life has also taught me not to chick block somebody when they're trying to manipulate somebody into spilling the beans.

!

Life has taught me that it's much more productive in getting someone to offer their guarded and perhaps hard-won information, by offering a "like value" information exchange,  than by intimidation or bullying. Yes, I have also run into some who didn't want to share information, because they never had it in the first place. It was more posturing as someone in possession of superior knowledge.

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I’ll bite. “Best” can only be chosen from among the makers one has tried.

I've played cellos( in some cases, multiple examples) by William Wedbe, Gary Garavaglia (2) Larry Wilkie, Matsuda(2)Kiernoziak(2) Cison, Conia, Guy Rabut, and several others I can’t recall at the moment. So I can only judge those I’ve played.

Among those I have played, I like my Caron best, though I’ve played four Carons, two of which I like better. Not much help, but my vote is for David Caron.

In San Antonio in February, I played a magnificent Gand. Boy what a cello...but he’s not modern.

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Let me go back to something I mentioned earlier, competitions:

Despite all the potential ups and downs of competitions, the Violin Society of America statement of intent with their competitions is to inspire the creation of outstanding concert-quality instrument and bows. But a subtitle might be that it is to help seek out instruments which would meet the needs of most professional players.

Regarding the first claim, the VSA competition is the only one of the competitions I have judged, where the entrant has an opportunity to sit down with a judge, and get feedback. While I have hated that part the several times I have judged (being pretty much trashed from several days of intense concentration and long hours, often struggling to convert impressions into numbers, and just wanting to hang out with people or get some sleep), I think most anyone can understand why they do it that way.

People (including musicians) can try to learn from these competitions, if they wish to. There are certainly much much worse ways to learn, and also to evaluate instruments.

Interesting would be, if there is a good correlation between competition-results and the list - results of deans. If there should not be a good correlation, I would prefer the "deans-list" over competition-results. However one problem could be to get the needed informations for this list while competition-results are easy to get.

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13 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I’ll bite. “Best” can only be chosen from among the makers one has tried.

 ...

If that's true - in his time (or even now) how could Strad ever be considered "the best"? Relatively very few players then, and now, would have been able to evaluate his instruments. And how many of his instruments would they have had to try on order to make an informed opinion? Is one enough? Ten?

There's a difference between an individual opinion and a group opinion.

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5 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

Interesting would be, if there is a good correlation between competition-results and the list - results of deans. If there should not be a good correlation, I would prefer the "deans-list" over competition-results. However one problem could be to get the needed informations for this list while competition-results are easy to get.

My experience is that many medalists in the VSA competition see a significant boost in orders... and I can think of a good many fine players (soloists, quartet, orchestral) who bought gold medal instruments right off the floor, so to speak.

Still, as I mentioned earlier, there are a good many fine makers who don't compete, for a variety of reasons.

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9 minutes ago, Rue said:

If that's true - in his time (or even now) how could Strad ever be considered "the best"? Relatively very few players then, and now, would have been able to evaluate his instruments

That’s valid. Given my own experience, playing the instruments I have played, from that group, and only from that group, I think David Caron is the best.

The initial question was about modern makers, and therefore asking about Strad is irrelevant to the discussion.

Strad’s reputation was earned because he had a lot of instruments and people who played them preferred them to other instruments. And the people who preferred them were generally able to afford whichever maker they chose, and they chose him. We think Strad was considered the best back then because contemporary evidence as well as modern thought points to that conclusion.

just my .02.

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I was using Strad as an example. He was a contemporary maker in his own time  ^_^.

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On 7/21/2018 at 8:43 PM, Landolfi said:

Who would you consider as the best living luthier?   Are their fiddles better than those from the 17th or 18th century?   My friend tries to get on waiting list to purchase Sam Zygmuntowicz's violin which is like 4-5 years now.   Is it really worth it as far as the quality and the sound of the violin.

By the way, the first great cello I ever played was in 1986 in Florence South Carolina at the shop of Ed Smith. He was working on a Carlo Landolfi cello, and he let me play it. Despite the work it needed it was an astonishing experience. I played the second movement of the Dvorak concerto and it was incredible. Ed told me that when he fixed it he was going to sell the instrument for $80,000, and I said to him, “yes you are”

I just shared because I noticed your name, and it brought the memory to mind.

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On 7/22/2018 at 1:53 AM, Bill Merkel said:

Lewlkrtkjer Aksadfk in Kwekrr, Kazakhstan is quickly becoming recognized internationally.

I’ll give you a dollar if you can pronounce that correctly.

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39 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Begging pardon for tooting my own horn(so to speak) ...

Very nice tooting! Thank you for sharing! :)

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On 7/22/2018 at 2:15 PM, Andreas Preuss said:

Who knows today Paul Kaul

Paul Kaul was an interessting man working not far from my workshop strong defender of the modern violinmaking tireless fighter against the ancient's tyrany. He wrote a rare book (published in 1927) on this topic with some funny anecdocts about competitions betweens ancienst and moderns at the turn of the 19th century.

1459564795_PaulKaul.thumb.jpeg.4d77fcfb9f0361d33988459643bea02e.jpeg

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10 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Begging pardon for tooting my own horn(so to speak) anybody wanna hear a Caron?

 

very nice! people here should show their skills and/or instruments more often.. :)

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On 7/23/2018 at 11:38 AM, David Burgess said:

Hang on! Haven't you just contributed to this? ;)

That's generous. I posted a comment, nothing more. But I would like to add something...the very best makers are willing to help others and they often do serious research out of passion for the craft, intellectual curiosity, and a desire to share important knowledge. Because, sure as $#;+, publishing doesn't pay out cash money. Roger told me what posters in The Strad pay. The hours and hours of work...the expertise required to provide something accurate...everyone in the field who needs and depends on the accuracy of these things...it's all not even worth $300. I didn't want to believe it, but it makes sense too. 

And even you make my list, Burgess, of course, not that my opinion matters. I am cooking colophony this week and I didn't forget how important the sand bath is, because you said it. Years ago you said it, and you continue to say it for the benefit of the constant stream of the Great Unwashed that find these forums and don't have a clue how much there is to know. You guys could let the little people struggle and reach and agonize for answers you all found in the '80's and '90's, but mostly you're a nice bunch, and you do the next generations a solid.

But do we all listen? Course not. *$#@*&+ kids. That's one reason Roger left Maestronet, and probably why you don't see much of Melvin Goldsmith and some others. 

To be clear on that previous point, I don't mean that publishing makes a luthier great, because we can all see that it's easy to publish wrong information or no information at all. Great luthiers often share their knowledge, though, as Davide Sora does when he posts videos of his process, and we should all make sure that those people feel appreciated here. I hope this opinion is not unpleasant or traumatic for anyone.

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11 hours ago, francoisdenis said:

Paul Kaul was an interessting man working not far from my workshop strong defender of the modern violinmaking tireless fighter against the ancient's tyrany. He wrote a rare book (published in 1927) on this topic with some funny anecdocts about competitions betweens ancienst and moderns at the turn of the 19th century.

1459564795_PaulKaul.thumb.jpeg.4d77fcfb9f0361d33988459643bea02e.jpeg

That sounds like a very fascinating book for someone who speaks French. Do you know whether it has been translated?

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13 hours ago, francoisdenis said:

Paul Kaul was an interessting man working not far from my workshop strong defender of the modern violinmaking tireless fighter against the ancient's tyrany. He wrote a rare book (published in 1927) on this topic with some funny anecdocts about competitions betweens ancienst and moderns at the turn of the 19th century.

1459564795_PaulKaul.thumb.jpeg.4d77fcfb9f0361d33988459643bea02e.jpeg

Which luthiers said or implied publicly that they could equal or better Stradivari?  I can immedialy think of Paul Kaul, Gmunder, and at least one living maker); along with makers whose copies are so close that they may argue they can potentially be as good as the original (did Vuillaume say that? unless I am mistaken Florian Leonhard does?). As far as Kaul, and Gmunder are concerned, it is disappointing that their claims have not commended themselves to later generations, and Stradivari's reputation remains higher, for whatever reasons.

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The more interesting question for the buyer is, which living maker is the most consistent?

For Landolfi's potential Sam Z. buyer, if his instruments are anything like as variable as Strads are said to be, then the waiting list means waiting for 4-5 years for fiddle which could be very disapointing indeed, or could be a world-beater. (I know that is a bit unfair because Strads are all so old--the underlying point stands though.)

I have two violins by one contemporary maker. Very different to play (being copies of a Strad and a DG). However, for me the key is not whether he is one of the best makers. The key, along with the fact that I like him and his instruments always look good, is that I believe the ones I own are among his best work (I have tried one or two others).

If I were buying again, I would start a new thread saying, not 'who is the best' but 'which living maker is good and, as close as humanly possible, utterly consistent?'

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