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Carlo Bergonzi 1735 'Baron Knoop' in July 2021 The Strad Magazine

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See if you can find a catalog (hardbound book) from the 2010 Bergonzi exhibition held in Cremona (Chis Reuning was the curator)... great articles including a fantastic technical piece by John Becker.

I think taken as a group they are great sounding fiddles. Some say they sound like a cross between a Strad and a del Gesu. I think they sound like Bergonzis.  :) 

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I've played a couple of Carlos, a Carlo/Michelangelo, and a bunch of Nicolos and Carlo II's. The Carlos and the father/son were along the lines of what one would expect from a good late Strad: deep, warm and powerful but still with silvery "zinginess" and clarity. All were fiddles I'd be happy to be able play on regularly. The grand children's fiddles were more variable, some very good, some a little muffled, but still interesting to play on.

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The Reuning book on Bergonzi is fantastic and can be had reasonably, compared to some of the other heavy hitting books out there. It's a shame that there isn't more information about Carlo, MA and Zosimo (who I suspect might have been a bit more productive that people currently imagine).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking forward to the third volume!

Mike - I bought the latest Bergonzi strad poster - it just arrived and it is a very fine. The CT scans are excellent and appear to be accurate. However the verso the printing is a little too red and pink and IMHO does not give Jan Röhrmann excellent photography of the instrument its full due. The digital shots mentioned above may be closer to what we will see in the book.

Stylistically - I find the work of Carlo Bergonzi very simpatico. The poster and article do a find job of illustrating his personal style (from this period at least):

  • Bold edge work with thick purfling well set in from the edge, deep fluting and long corners, simple mitres
  • Low but full arching 
  • Higher rib garland with little taper
  • Longer c-bouts, slender outline, slightly shorter body length (but with modern stop!) 
  • Wonderful scroll that seems to foreshadow later del Gesu work in some respects
  • Stunning wood and varnish (sadly I've only ever seen one Bergonzi 
  • Slightly thicker grads compare to an average strad

I have the Reuning book mentioned by Jeffery and it is a very fine book. Worth the investment. 

i'm sure other members can describe his style more eloquently but i find the poster (and whole poject) a worthy addition... 

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