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doublestops

Klotz Family Violins?

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What is the significance of the Klotz family of violin makers? There are a lot of negative impressions about their instruments due to their lack of power, yet good condition authentic examples still cost thousands of dollars. What am I missing?

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That "Klotz" violins are usually cheap Saxon late 19th century instruments. Failing that they tend to be unattributed late 18th century Mittenwald violins that someone has hung the name "Klotz" on.

Authentic Kloz family violins are much appreciated, but they tend to cost £20k upwards ... and rather more for the earlier family members.

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Martin an Jacob are right in that there is a demand for good 18th century Mittenwald and other German violins. But at least here in the US there is still the general idea that these instruments are "good for chamber music but don't have enough punch for general use". As someone who looks for instruments like this I hear it a lot. 

I remember my teacher's story, he had a beloved Kloz, when he got to Julliard they marched him down to the shop for a "proper" instrument that he hated for a long time.

It definitely has been a bias in in modern making. I wonder how many guys show up at a VSA with a Kloz copy? Or any 18th century German or Austrian model?

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36 minutes ago, deans said:

I remember my teacher's story, he had a beloved Kloz, when he got to Julliard they marched him down to the shop for a "proper" instrument that he hated for a long time.

Maybe it would have been enough to stick a sort of Gofriller label into his Kloz.:ph34r:

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20 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Maybe it would have been enough to stick a sort of Gofriller label into his Kloz.

 

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2 hours ago, deans said:

Martin an Jacob are right in that there is a demand for good 18th century Mittenwald and other German violins. But at least here in the US there is still the general idea that these instruments are "good for chamber music but don't have enough punch for general use". As someone who looks for instruments like this I hear it a lot. 

I remember my teacher's story, he had a beloved Kloz, when he got to Julliard they marched him down to the shop for a "proper" instrument that he hated for a long time.

It definitely has been a bias in in modern making. I wonder how many guys show up at a VSA with a Kloz copy? Or any 18th century German or Austrian model?

When you say "don't have enough punch for general use", surely it's only concerto players who really need the kind of penetration that authentic Kloz family violins reputedly lack? Actually it was very noticeable that the Kloz played by a highly competent young violinist performing the Korngold concerto with my orchestra didn't do her justice, but in any other context I think it would have been fine.

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10 minutes ago, matesic said:

When you say "don't have enough punch for general use", surely it's only concerto players who really need the kind of penetration that authentic Kloz family violins reputedly lack? Actually it was very noticeable that the Kloz played by a highly competent young violinist performing the Korngold concerto with my orchestra didn't do her justice, but in any other context I think it would have been fine.

I agree. I'm just reporting things I have often heard, not what I believe.

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I am always amused that apparently everybody buying a violin one level up from a student instrument must have an instrument fit for an internationally acclaimed soloist.

All those internationally acclaimed soloists then proceed to play in orchestras and play chamber music and are struggling to blend in and play nicely with others.

As for Klotz instruments specifically, they compare in character with Amati and Stainer, which appear to be equally useless. 

 

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2 hours ago, Guido said:

As for Klotz instruments specifically, they compare in character with Amati and Stainer, which appear to be equally useless. 

 

Is that facetious?

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10 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Just about everything

Okay, I understand.

I guess what I'm asking is, what in particular about (authentic) Klotz instruments makes them highly regarded? I was given the impression that they made trade instruments in a cottage industry, but, I could be wrong. Just trying to learn here.

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1 hour ago, doublestops said:

Is that facetious?

No. Well, only in a sense that I don't find them useless, as opposed to the budding soloists.

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1 hour ago, doublestops said:

Okay, I understand.

I guess what I'm asking is, what in particular about (authentic) Klotz instruments makes them highly regarded? I was given the impression that they made trade instruments in a cottage industry, but, I could be wrong. Just trying to learn here.

That is a rather strange thing to say. While every conceivable label can be found in Vogtland mass produced instruments around 1900, Klotz would be a minority amongst them. And even French factories had Klotz labelled violins. These mass produced violins have as little to do with Klotz as they have with Stradivarius, which is probably the most common label in them. So, it's like saying you don't know why someone would pay any money for a Strad, given that they were just mass produced cottage industry instruments. 

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I think it's a sad reality that the sheer number and overall questionable quality of cheaper German instruments has tainted the reputation of all German language area violin-making. The true artisans made some wonderful violins, and I've seen Klotz', Widhalms, Buchstetters, Hellmers, Poschs...etc etc that were in my opinion right up there in the quality/beauty of sound/ease of playing and comparable carrying power with similar Italian violins. As Guido wrote above, if you've played a lot of "2nd or 3rd tier" Italian violins, you realize that carrying power isn't necessarily what makes them desirable.

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8 hours ago, doublestops said:

I guess what I'm asking is, what in particular about (authentic) Klotz instruments makes them highly regarded?

At least it's the name one can drop on a violin, as always. There were certainly many more good and exceptional makers from the pre 1800 Mittenwald school being summarized usually as "Kloz" (sic, the spelling with t is more a 19th century thing starting with Josef junior).

Particular on Kloz family makers the Mittenwald museum had released more highly recommended essays by Zunterer et al. at their website now.  Only the part about the 19th century Verleger/cottage industry is actually available in German only, but I'm looking forward that they'll translate it soon, too. It is giving lots of new insight.

http://www.geigenbaumuseum-mittenwald.de/index.php?id=213&L=2

http://www.geigenbaumuseum-mittenwald.de/index.php?id=213

 

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11 hours ago, Guido said:

I am always amused that apparently everybody buying a violin one level up from a student instrument must have an instrument fit for an internationally acclaimed soloist.

All those internationally acclaimed soloists then proceed to play in orchestras and play chamber music and are struggling to blend in and play nicely with others.

Not a problem down our way where youthful delusions of virtuosity are tempered by fiscal reality. Most of us can't afford a flashy fiddle until it's far too late to need one, even in our dreams, so we extend the house instead

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30 minutes ago, matesic said:

Not a problem down our way where youthful delusions of virtuosity are tempered by fiscal reality. Most of us can't afford a flashy fiddle until it's far too late to need one, even in our dreams, so we extend the house instead

Aye, and then there was this minor hurdle called money.

But I guess I have to clarify as a cynical tone doesn’t carry well in writing.

What I mean is: because famous soloists prefer a Strad/GDG over an Amati/Stainer this is picked up by all musicians across all price points as “general use” irrespective of application

 E.g. if you rock up at Uni with a Colin-Mezin everything is as it should be, but if you come with an 18th century Mittenwald instrument people look at you as if you didn’t get the memo. Yet for the majority of musicians and the majority of applications an old Amati/Stainer model violin may be a better choice vs a solo instrument with a piercing sound. Not everybody is leading large orchestras all the time.

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I'm sorry, I confused Mittenwald with Markneukirchen. I thought Klotz was a mass producer of trade level instruments! Still learning, sorry.

What are the features of these instruments that make authentic examples of their instruments worth $20,000? Were the makers important in any particular respect?

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19 hours ago, Guido said:

I am always amused that apparently everybody buying a violin one level up from a student instrument must have an instrument fit for an internationally acclaimed soloist.

Yes I agree. On the other hand if you are 16 years old and not shooting for the moon you probably aren't going to even make it over the fence. Especially in classical music.

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