Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Simplified history of violin making...


germain
 Share

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I am not familiar with a complex drawing of a violin drawn by Amati. Nor one by Da Vinci.

Please!

They did not how to draw?

Certainly an object by Da Vinci or Amati had a drawing, unless there where no pencils back then. But wait I have a book with ~ 100 pages of Da Vincis drawings, so they must have invented the pencil already?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

11 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

Please!

They did not how to draw?

Certainly an object by Da Vinci or Amati had a drawing, unless there where no pencils back then. But wait I have a book with ~ 100 pages of Da Vincis drawings, so they must have invented the pencil already?

When did I claim that they didn't know how do draw?

Followup question: Which of those 100 pages of drawings shows something resembling a violin?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, David Burgess said:

When did I claim that they didn't know how do draw?

Followup question: Which of those 100 pages of drawings shows something resembling a violin?

I signed out already, so I can't tell.

Next time I sign in and are not asleep I'll tell you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

When did I claim that they didn't know how do draw?

 

1 minute ago, Peter K-G said:

I signed out already, so I can't tell.

Had you signed out already, you could not have made that post. :lol:

Hint: I have never claimed that either Amati or Da Vinci didn't know how to draw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

I'll put it this way, his original drawing is complex and certainly did pop up out of nowhere by a single person. Though it certainly drew on some previous ideas, it was unique enough to drop all competition nearly instantly.

I agree , it certainly did draw on previous ideas … and while “unique enough” in many respects ,and in fact superior in many others ,  it was still largely recognizable to any of the contemporary players of the day I  am Not trying to take anything from Amati  ,a s much as Building context that the violin arose from . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is always nice to hear all these beautiful stories about Cremona and the great Cremonese luthiers, and about how much work they continue to give to violin traders. We certainly don't want to be troublemakers, and send them all for a walk! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

It is always nice to hear all these beautiful stories about Cremona and the great Cremonese luthiers, and about how much work they continue to give to violin traders. We certainly don't want to be troublemakers, and send them all for a walk! :D

Wondering , if you could help me latinize James M Jones … might help sales … lol also a post address in Cremona! Lol 

 over the years , I’ve enjoyed your contributions and videos very much and like to think you deserve every success , Cremona or no Cremona! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, germain said:

... do I have it right?

Classic Italian violin making dies at the end of 18th century with the Milanese "cheapjacks" such as Landolphi/ Testore in Milan and Ceruti in Cremona. Violin making more or less moves to Paris in the workshops of Lupot, Pique, Vuillaume and Thibout. In Italy the only makers that continue the tradition of great instrument making throughout the 19th century are Pressenda and Rocca. As French violin making at the end of the 19th century shifts towards trade quality mass produced industrialized violins Leandro Bisiach revives the glory of the Italian violin making in Milan in the early 20th century thus begins the renaissance of modern Italian violin making.

You are in dangerous waters.

Neapolitan violin making extended well into the 20th century.

Pressenda learned his craft in a French workshop.

Italy as such didn’t exist in the 18th century and before. Had we asked A.S. about his nationality he’d probably answer: I am Lombardian. My language is italian. And lombardia was at his birth under Spanish rule and at his death under Austrian rule)

We often ignore bluntly the history around violin making which had in my view a bigger impact on violin making history as a whole than how traditions continued within violin making history. And this not only for political history but also history of scientific, economical and technical developments.

Instruments of the violin family emerged in a renaissance movement in the Italian opera world and made from there with the help of Italian musicians its path into the rest of Europe. Wars between the ruling powers in Europe during the 18th century made Italy the battlefield ending the favorable economic situation for violin makers. Technical and scientific developments overthrowing the alchemical world of the past opened makers outside of Italy the possibility to compete successfully against Italian makers on an enlarged market serving a different and less wealthy clientele. In the meantime Italian works of the past (basically made with an alchemical mindset) got step by step glorified for its apparent excellence. Further developments in the industrialization made instruments of the violin family a mass product creating probably something like 90 percent of income in this market. Handcrafted violins became a marginal field of some individuals. And this will maybe come to an end with AI aided developments of CNC technology. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

You are in dangerous waters.

Neapolitan violin making extended well into the 20th century.

Other than Ventapane what other Neapolitan maker made violins in the 19th century? All of the great ones such as Pistucci, Sannino, Bellarosa, Bellafontana are all early 20th c.

My point was that with the exception of Rocca and Pressenda not much was happening in Italy during the 19th century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, germain said:

Other than Ventapane what other Neapolitan maker made violins in the 19th century? All of the great ones such as Pistucci, Sannino, Bellarosa, Bellafontana are all early 20th c.

But they continued the Neapolitan tradition and wouldn’t be there without Postiglione. (Someone important to mention as a 19th century Italian maker) 

you are probably speaking mostly of the first part of the 19th century where the states on nowadays Italian territory had to recover from the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. There was certainly a huge economical decline. 

pressenda and Rocca could only exist because piedmont became part of the  French empire which allowed with their trade laws the existence of those workshops in Turin, notably the Lete workshop. (It’s a question of interpretation if you count it to Italian violin making or French  violin making)

However it would be a distorted view to reduce violin making in ‘Italy’ (which wasn’t an independent state yet) to pressenda and Rocca. There was Enrico Ceruti in Cremona, in Genova we have Niccolò Bianchi and Eugenio Praga, in Rome Guiseppe Sgarbi, in Trieste Guiseppe Dollenz, in Napoli Vincenzo postiglione.

How we measure this in history is a different question. Weighted against the mass production in other countries it was certainly almost nothing, but for the tradition of makers on the Italian peninsula the link to make it survive into the 20th century.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Peter K-G said:

Please!

They did not how to draw?

Certainly an object by Da Vinci or Amati had a drawing, unless there where no pencils back then. But wait I have a book with ~ 100 pages of Da Vincis drawings, so they must have invented the pencil already?

Or unless each instrument was it's own drawing, a process worked through in wood each time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, David Beard said:

Or unless each instrument was it's own drawing, a process worked through in wood each time.

Right, that's the case even today.

The only time a drawing and/or pencil could be handy is when making a new mold every 50 year or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

Wondering , if you could help me latinize James M Jones … might help sales … lol also a post address in Cremona! Lol 

 over the years , I’ve enjoyed your contributions and videos very much and like to think you deserve every success , Cremona or no Cremona! 

Well, Giacomo (James) is a perfect Italianisation of your name and perfectly linked to the Cremonese tradition (Giacomo Gennaro, who took up residence with Nicolo Amati, training and working in his workshop from 1641-1646). :)

But about Jones, I'm in a bit of trouble and I don't know what the M stands for:unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Well, Giacomo (James) is a perfect Italianisation of your name and perfectly linked to the Cremonese tradition (Giacomo Gennaro, who took up residence with Nicolo Amati, training and working in his workshop from 1641-1646). :)

But about Jones, I'm in a bit of trouble and I don't know what the M stands for:unsure:

 

2 hours ago, Mark Caudle said:

According to Wikipedia Jones drives from Hebrew, Johan, so In Italian, Giovanni. Giacomo  M Giovanni??

Thanks guys ! I kind of like it … The M is for Michael … ? Lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, James M. Jones said:

 

Thanks guys ! I kind of like it … The M is for Michael … ? Lol

Giacomo Giovanni sounds good:), there are a couple of Italian luthiers who had that surname (Antonio Giovanni da Padova in the eighteenth century, and Carlo Giovanni, a Roman of the sixteenth century)-(I'm not that expert, I saw them on the Dictionnaire Universel des Luthiers:P). As for Michael, well it's easy, there's Michele Angelo Bergonzi, Carlo's son. But I think Giacomo Giovanni is enough and it is more fluent, because more commonly in Italy Giovanni is a name, not a surname, and putting three names in a row could create confusion about where the name ends and where the surname begins.:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Giacomo Giovanni sounds good:), there are a couple of Italian luthiers who had that surname (Antonio Giovanni da Padova in the eighteenth century, and Carlo Giovanni, a Roman of the sixteenth century)-(I'm not that expert, I saw them on the Dictionnaire Universel des Luthiers:P). As for Michael, well it's easy, there's Michele Angelo Bergonzi, Carlo's son. But I think Giacomo Giovanni is enough and it is more fluent, because more commonly in Italy Giovanni is a name, not a surname, and putting three names in a row could create confusion about where the name ends and where the surname begins.:lol:

Thanks Davide, that’s a ton of fun . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

But they continued the Neapolitan tradition and wouldn’t be there without Postiglione. (Someone important to mention as a 19th century Italian maker) 

you are probably speaking mostly of the first part of the 19th century where the states on nowadays Italian territory had to recover from the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. There was certainly a huge economical decline. 

pressenda and Rocca could only exist because piedmont became part of the  French empire which allowed with their trade laws the existence of those workshops in Turin, notably the Lete workshop. (It’s a question of interpretation if you count it to Italian violin making or French  violin making)

However it would be a distorted view to reduce violin making in ‘Italy’ (which wasn’t an independent state yet) to pressenda and Rocca. There was Enrico Ceruti in Cremona, in Genova we have Niccolò Bianchi and Eugenio Praga, in Rome Guiseppe Sgarbi, in Trieste Guiseppe Dollenz, in Napoli Vincenzo postiglione.

How we measure this in history is a different question. Weighted against the mass production in other countries it was certainly almost nothing, but for the tradition of makers on the Italian peninsula the link to make it survive into the 20th century.

 

Excellent points. Thanks for sharing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

Wondering , if you could help me latinize James M Jones … might help sales … lol also a post address in Cremona! Lol 

While I realize that it doesn't have quite the panache of "Indiana Jones", may I call you "Minnesota Jones"? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/7/2022 at 12:39 AM, David Burgess said:

When did I claim that they didn't know how do draw?

Followup question: Which of those 100 pages of drawings shows something resembling a violin?

 

On 5/7/2022 at 12:43 AM, Peter K-G said:

I signed out already, so I can't tell.

Next time I sign in and are not asleep I'll tell you

 

On 5/7/2022 at 12:52 AM, David Burgess said:

 

Had you signed out already, you could not have made that post. :lol:

Hint: I have never claimed that either Amati or Da Vinci didn't know how to draw.

01:24 and signed out today as well (don't know why my posts appear after signed out?)

This is the exclusive Da Vinci book, I got as a present from my wife ~150 pages. (She really think I'm at his level, don't tell!). No violin drawings though!

9CAAD7BA-5A11-402F-8B43-7E55776A1449.thumb.jpeg.b58d0ccd95e39067b21c3bfb13456402.jpeg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Peter K-G said:

 

 

01:24 and signed out today as well (don't know why my posts appear after signed out?)

This is the exclusive Da Vinci book, I got as a present from my wife ~150 pages. (She really think I'm at his level, don't tell!). No violin drawings though!

9CAAD7BA-5A11-402F-8B43-7E55776A1449.thumb.jpeg.b58d0ccd95e39067b21c3bfb13456402.jpeg

 

You might like the book "Leonardo da Vinci as a Musician" by Emanuel Winternitz, Yale University Press, 1982.  

Lots of references in the book to the lira de brachio which he played.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/6/2022 at 7:26 AM, Michael Darnton said:

My version, dates are very approximate:

1/ Inception and strength: Andrea Amati invents violin c 1550; the Cremonese design remains essentially based on the same information being known and used until del Gesu, who starts ignoring some parameters. 

2/ Decay: After del Gesu's death, more parameters trickle off and the "Cremonese" product ceases to resemble the original design very rapidly, resulting in a dead period from c1750-1800.

3/ Attempted rebirth: around 1800 in France Lupot starts to try to recreate the design, but based on reverse engineering, not knowledge of original design specifics. This period continues to the present day, jumping from country to country depending on where the best violin examples live and are accessible to local makers to work from.

Appendix: Location of best violins via biggest dealers and the largest private collections, thus facilitating the best copyists, dates are wildly approximate:
1800-1890: France (Lupot, Vuillaume, and others)
1840-1980: England (Betts, Hill, many others)
1920-present: US (Wurlitzer and subsequently others)
the present and not too distant future: Asia: various countries
Not on list after 1750: Italy, except possibly in the Bisiach shop in early 1900s (sorry, Italy)
Secondary effect: starting in the 1980s detailed books and STRAD posters brought some degree of accessibility to entire world. Not the same as handling an original, but a huge bump up for poorly located makers. Result: everyone gets suddenly better, everywhere.

It should be understood that in most places and times there were individuals who were doing good work, but they didn't always represent massive national trends. Rocca is a great example, as is Ornati, both of whom are on my list as some of the best non-classical period makers of any time, any place. Kittel in Russia would be a nice example of this in bow history.

Personal bias noted: Unlike a couple of people above, I consider independent making schools outside of Cremona and not influenced by Cremona, outside of 1550-1750, mostly just variously dead-ended dog meat. For instance, if the same period Venetians were that great at violin making (not cellos), why isn't everyone copying them? The one powerful exception to this is Brescian viola making 1570 to 1650 or so, which is equally important as the Cremonese instruments. Of course Montagnana and Goffriller cellos deserve respect as well, but those are individuals, not broad schools. Based on who plays them and their appearance in front of orchestras in concerts, I'd put Stainer and followers in the dead-end category, though that will rub some people the wrong way.

 

Chuck Beare would disagree, based on his article in Senn/Roy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...