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Da Salo influence on Del Gesu


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This week I was lucky enough to view and play a Nicolo Amati, a Rogeri, and a Da Salo from 1584, with a Pecatte bow, no less.

The Amati had the best tone, but what struck me was the similarity in the design of the Da Salo with Del Gesu's later work.  The upper corners, and the f-holes were strikingly similar.  It's almost like Del Gesu had a Da Salo on the bench for inspiration.

I'm curious if those with more firsthand experience see the same similarities.

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I noticed the Da Salo's arching extended almost to the very edge, with very little scoop.  It was eye-opening to see it firsthand.  The corners caught my eye first.  Although Del Gesu made smaller instruments (by back length), because the Da Salo I played was a bit larger than the modern standard.


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The influence of Brescian makers on Del Gesu is an accepted part of violin lore for a long time. By the early 1700's, there must have been quite a few players around using 100+ year-old Magginis and Da Salos and it's easy to imagine Cremonese makers getting interested in what those instruments had to offer. With the recent realization that some of the most admired "Magginis" were actually made long after his death, several now considered to have been made by Rogeri, a former Amati workshop man, one could almost trace the Brescian influence from him to Strad's long pattern, with Del Gesu going farther towards  Da Salo-style f-holes and arching a generation later.

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