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Alas, the End of Cremona Violin Making is official


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Markneukirchen, Mittenwald, Mirecourt, Réghin...Austrian invasion, war of Spanish Succession...Cremona's still there and still making violins, (even if for a while the best it could "do" was Pietro Grulli)...I can't imagine any quantity of Chinese violins or propaganda will sink it.

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Cremona has history on its side, but IMO it's important that the quality of making remains exceptionally high and the production output low. China is a different scale of making for the most part (some exceptions) and clearly they can also produce very fine instruments but I think it might take a while before they have a historically important centre of making like Cremona. But definitely important to monitor the situation, perhaps in the future China will have a Cremona, Mirecout or Markneukirchen type area that has international regard.

As stated in the videos there is value in instruments made by a sole maker or indeed a combination of known makers. I think this will always have a value over faceless production.

The Swiss watch industry is an example of how to weather the storm of international competition and come out on top.

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34 minutes ago, Michael Appleman said:

Markneukirchen, Mittenwald, Mirecourt, Réghin...Austrian invasion, war of Spanish Succession...Cremona's still there and still making violins, (even if for a while the best it could "do" was Pietro Grulli)...I can't imagine any quantity of Chinese violins or propaganda will sink it.

Good makers will always continue the tradition in traditional centers of violin making. But Chinese will make sink anything which is mediocre in price performance relation. It attacks the 90 percent which is below the top ten percent. 

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Watching the video, I felt like smiling when I heard that the price of contemporary Italian violins starts at $ 28,000 and that it takes 2 or 3 months to make one. Of course the statement can certainly be true for a small number of makers, but If this were really the case for everyone, the problem would not exist, totally different target market, no need to "worry". Alas many makers insist on "competing" with the Chinese by keeping prices much lower (and inevitably the quality) when it is evident that it is a losing battle from the start, I think the hopes of beating the Chinese in low-end market production are rather slim...

1 hour ago, Shelbow said:

Cremona has history on its side, but IMO it's important that the quality of making remains exceptionally high and the production output low.

This phrase should be hung in the workshops of certain Cremonese luthiers, as a daily warning on which is the right path.:)<_<

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Dmitri, the SCMP is not a Chinese government newspaper. It is a private newspaper in Hong Kong with a long history as Hong Kong's flagship English newspaper.

That doesn't excuse the quality of the reporting, of course. The reporting rather hilariously misses the point. 

I'd also note that Mr. Conia is one of the most popular and well known Cremona-based makers sold in Hong Kong (which is a city crazy about Italian violins). 

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17 minutes ago, Violinjon said:

Dmitri, the SCMP is not a Chinese government newspaper. It is a private newspaper in Hong Kong with a long history as Hong Kong's flagship English newspaper.

"Since the change of ownership in 2016, [SCMP] has been alleged to be on a mission to promote China's soft power abroad. According to critics, it is moving away from independent journalism and pioneering a new form of "propaganda".[9][11] (Wikipedia)

I gently remind you who is running HK these days.

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28 minutes ago, Dimitri Musafia said:

"Since the change of ownership in 2016, [SCMP] has been alleged to be on a mission to promote China's soft power abroad. According to critics, it is moving away from independent journalism and pioneering a new form of "propaganda".[9][11] (Wikipedia)

I gently remind you who is running HK these days.

As a westerner living in Hong Kong for many years, I know that. It is a newspaper trying to do its best. It is not copy and pasting from official propaganda. Yet.

In fact, where is it copy and pasting from? The AFP. The video is surely a crib on this report, which came out the same time.

Edit: crib is too harsh a word, it's purchased media from AFP.

https://news.yahoo.com/violin-makers-tune-tradition-stradivarius-italys-cremona-042601151.html

Saying this comes from "The Chinese Government" is false. Full stop.

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As a player of various types of musical instruments I'll mention this - if the tone of whichever even just slightly hints towards a "chinese" tone or influence, I don't want it around me.

An electronic keyboard can be an exception.

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2 minutes ago, Dimitri Musafia said:

Thank you for the link, Violonjon. Crude copy-pasting, why I am not surprised.

Dmitri, I hate to keep beating you up (I love your cases). But the video is almost surely purchased from AFP (a French media organization...). Newspapers purchase content from the big Western press organizations all the time, including the SCMP.

Here is a Spanish version using the same footage.

https://es.euronews.com/2020/06/19/cremona-cuna-mundial-de-lutieres

I'm not condoning the report itself. It's stupid. But there is no grand Chinese conspiracy here - maybe somewhere else <_<

You make think I am sensitive, but I think, especially during these times, distilling the truth is ever more important.  

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Violinjon, of course I see your point. It's the title of the SCMP reposting and the subcontext that irk me. They've even posted the video with an Italian title and translation, as to rub our noses into it.

Maybe I am indeed overly sensitive to the subject because I've spent thousands of $$ in litigation against Chinese companies that have tried to copy my cases, my trademark, and even my surname. Musilia, Musacia, etc. It gets tiring after a while.

Now it seems that they go after my whole town... :-)

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4 minutes ago, Dimitri Musafia said:

Violinjon, of course I see your point. It's the title of the SCMP reposting and the subcontext that irk me. They've even posted the video with an Italian title and translation, as to rub our noses into it.

Maybe I am indeed overly sensitive to the subject because I've spent thousands of $$ in litigation against Chinese companies that have tried to copy my cases, my trademark, and even my surname. Musilia, Musacia, etc. It gets tiring after a while.

Now it seems that they go after my whole town... :-)

The title is clickbait, but unfortunately/fortunately that's at least an international problem.

I totally understand too. That kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and you shouldn't have to go through all that pain.

If it makes you feel better, here in Hong Kong I have never seen a Musilia but I've seen plenty of Musafias. People here love Italian violins and cases...

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31 minutes ago, Dimitri Musafia said:

Now it seems that they go after my whole town... :-)

Too late. Don't you know the biggest factory in Luby (former Schonbach) in Czech republic was called "Cremona" Luby. They churned thousands or even millions of cheap fiddles a year from 50's till 90's...

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

It is perhaps ironic, that the elderly violin maker, shown as the representative of the fading out Cremonese tradition, is actually Hungarian

So what? 
 

I see an Englishman working in Austria, a German in Tokyo, Vietnamese in London, a Serbian (or was he from Croatia?) in Mittenwald, and each of them stands for something which is not typic representation for the country of origin. I don’t have a problem with a Hungarian representing the ‘best’ (according a Hong Kong news agency) of Cremonese tradition (whatever you define as such) 

To me Cremona today is just as good as Markneukirchen 150 years ago. Some really good makers, and the rest of followers just profiting from them. The only difference is that Cremona can (falsely)claim a super hero as their constructed ancestor. 
 

The line got undeniably broken with Michel Angelo Bergonzi. But don’t try to explain this to a buyer in Japan. 

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19 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

The line got undeniably broken with Michel Angelo Bergonzi. But don’t try to explain this to a buyer in Japan. 

What if Bergonzi actually did meet with Storioni?  Then the line still lives thru Davide. 

I retraced the tree some time ago and got stumped when I got back to the time period of Lorenzo. 

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