Rue

Ignacio Fleta violin signed by Heifetz

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So...

In the last issue of The Strad they had an article about a Fleta signed by Heifetz. 

:mellow:

1. Vandalism?

2. A good idea?

3. Hopefully it never happens again!!!

4. Hey ! I want one of those! But I want a Del Gesu signed by Paganini...:ph34r:

 

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Ennio Bolognini was born in Buenos Aires in 1893, to a musical family. His father was an amateur cellist and a close friend of the conductor Toscannini, who became Ennio's godfather.

Bolognini studied first with his father, and later with Jose Garcia, Casal's teacher, who was now living in Buenos Aires. When Ennio was still only fifteen he won first prize in a Spanish/American cello contest, and was awarded a fine cello made by Luigi Rovatti. While still a teen-ager Ennio had the privilege of performing "The Swan" with Saint-Saens himself at the piano; and the Richard Strauss cello sonata, also with the composer.

In 1923 Bolognini emigrated to the United States. Interestingly the reason he moved to the United States was to be the sparring partner for Luis Firpo in preparation for his prize-fight with Jack Dempsey. Bolognini was not only an amazingly fine cellist, but also a champion boxer, and a licensed airplane pilot. He flew his own private plane, and was once a professional stunt flyer. He was co-founder of the American Civil Air Patrol, and trained cadets to fly B-29 bombers in World War II. He was a modern day Renaissance man, an athlete, gourmet, gambler, speaking Hebrew, Greek, Japanese, Hungarian, Russian and 15 different Italian dialects.

Bolognini was well known for his fiery temper and impulsive behavior. When he was principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony (he always took his dog to rehersals), he served as interpreter for Glazounov, who was appearing as a guest conductor. Glazounov, overcome by stage fright, came to Ennio instead of mounting the podium, and spoke with him anxiously for a few minutes, as the audience waited. Later, Bolognini was accused of trying to hog the stage, and he became angry and resigned from the Symphony.

He lived in Las Vegas from 1951 to his death in 1979, where he founded the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a wonderful guitarist, and could also play flamenco music on the cello, as if it were a guitar. Casals praised Bolognini as the greatest cello talent he had ever heard in his life. Feuermann said that Bolognini was a better cellist than Casals, Piatigorsky or himself.

Bolognini's cello is now at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. It is unique, in that there are 51 signatures inscribed on it, including those of Kreisler, Heiftz, Stern, Szigeti, Liberace, Jack Dempsey, Bruno Walter, Janos Starker, Eugene Ormandy, Miklos Rozsa, etc. Everywhere he went, he asked his friends to sign his cello.

http://www.cello.org/heaven/bios/bolognin.htm

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Maybe autographing a Mendini is okay - should someone really need to sign an instrument - but - if we're going to fuss about all the other minutea regarding the condition of a violin, why vandalize? Or is it only okay for a Big Name to autograph an instrument? Any instrument? How Big does the Big Name have to be to make the value of the autograph outweigh the devaluation of the instrument? Would Heifetz have autographed a Strad? Or did he consider Fleta worthless?

Edited by Rue
I hate autocorrect...

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Isn't it the Primrose Guarneri that has a former owner's initials cut into its left pegbox cheek ? Admittedly vandalism, but not devaluing.

Ditto the wax seal on the Khevenhuller.

For that matter, if it were ever sold, would Paganini's Cannone be de-valued because he had the edge of the back plate filed down level with the rib on the treble side, and a trench cut into the heel if its neck to make it more comfortable to play the way he played it ? (This was said to be "wear" from playing, but that attribution of it is a self-evident absurdity -- he didn't have it that long or play it that much).

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33 minutes ago, Rue said:

Maybe autographing a Mendini is okay - should someone really need to sign an instrument - but - if we're going to fuss about all the other minutea regarding the condition of a violin, why vandalize? Or is it only okay for a Big Name to autograph an instrument? Any instrument? How Big does the Big Name have to be to make the value of the autograph outway the devaluation of the instrument? Would Heifetz have autographed a Strad? Or did he consider Fleta worthless?

I was never under the notion that musical instruments are sacred idols. But that's just me. I think in this case, the cello looks cool and has its own personality. I wouldn't recommend everyone get their instrument autographed, but with this guy's life story, it is all the more appropriate I think. 

But let's not go around autographing Strads....

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NBB New Instrument Makers !

"Casals praised Bolognini as the greatest cello talent he had ever heard in his life. Feuermann said that Bolognini was a better cellist than Casals, Piatigorsky or himself."

This was a case of feedback for a guy playing a brand new instrument.

Grist for your mills  ;)

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When I was about 12, I noticed, one day, that the corner of the button of my bow made a great stylus, and I engraved “Philip” into the varnish of my cello at school.

That was on Friday.

I got in a lot of trouble on Monday.

THAT was vandalism. Because I’m not famous.

If I had been the illustrious cellist Johann Schmedlap, however, that autographed cello would be priceless. And that would NOT be vandalism.

so it depends on who.

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I have a fiddle that I used to get autographed--Charlie Daniels, Martin Hayes, Mark O'Connor, Midori, Benny Martin, and a bunch of others--it got too distracting so I erased them.

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On 10/4/2019 at 12:35 AM, A432 said:

It is unique, in that there are 51 signatures inscribed on it, including those of Kreisler, Heiftz, Stern, Szigeti, Liberace, Jack Dempsey, Bruno Walter, Janos Starker, Eugene Ormandy, Miklos Rozsa, etc. Everywhere he went, he asked his friends to sign his cello.

There ya go. Getting signatures on much of anything is not hard, although it is more difficult today,  since hardly any audience member is allowed backstage.

Years ago, I simply walked up to Stravinsky backstage, and he signed my program.

On 10/4/2019 at 9:21 AM, A432 said:

For that matter, if it were ever sold, would Paganini's Cannone be de-valued because he had the edge of the back plate filed down level with the rib on the treble side,...

Huh?

Bruce Carlson, who occasionally posts here, is the curator of that instrument, and probably the highest expert on the Cannone.  Might want to ask him, rather than self-indulging in your own fluff.

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You, in turn, might want to make sure you have any idea of what you're talking about before you start beating your chest and flinging feces again.

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3 hours ago, A432 said:

You, in turn, might want to make sure you have any idea of what you're talking about before you start beating your chest and flinging feces again.

Perhaps you could take a look a the photos in this excellent article by my good friend Alberto Giordano (assistant curator of the Cannone) and show us where the back plate has been filed down ...

https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/cozio-carteggio/the-paganini-cannon-violin/

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We should ask Bruce, but that looks like popped rib - if you look at shots of the back you will see that the purfling sits at a regular distance from the edge, so the idea that Paganini had the edge filed down doesn't seem like the most obvious explanation!

There is also no reference to this idea in the article you cited - the photo is illustrating the unusually high ribs.

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