From Pieter Viljoen
Posted July 3, 2005 at 05:57 AM
Mario's violins are the roughest built violins of the Gadda family, so it really depends on which of Mario's violins you will be comparing to Gaetano's. However, if you were to compare one of Mario's finer built violins, you will find that, while it is not as nice sounding as his fathers violins, it is certainly not terrible sounding. Of course, that being said, Gaetano was a student of Scarampella, who is arguably one of the finest makers of the 20th century. As a result, Mario's violins will not be as nice sounding, or as projecting as one of Gaetano's. I hope that helps you out.
Someone recently took a look at my violin and definately thinks it's Gaetano's hand, while someone else in Toronto thinks it's a colaboration. I'll probably never know, and because I got a good price, it's not too much of an issue.
Huh??? I don't think so... What might be said is that violins bearing Mario Gadda's label vary a good deal... as he had/has a number of others helping to produce the instruments. Mario himself is quite talented (I believe he was a sculptor before he was a maker) and some of his copy fiddles are quite good and plenty "refined".
How "fine" the work is does not always have a direct connection to how much the violin costs or how well players like them. Scarampella was not a "fine" workman. He was rather rough... as was his assistant, G. Gadda. In terms of refinement, G. Gadda might have the edge... but it's a matter of degrees. Both produced "fine" fiddles, in terms of their performance, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder... and Scarampella's being beautiful have little to do with how accurate and meticulous the maker was. If you're hearing otherwise, it may be sale-person B. S. :-)
The design is classic, and the form and execution (arching) of G. Gadda and Scarampella is quite good... but the truth is, what many end up "sounding" like is due, in great part, to whoever re-graduated them later on. They were made very thick, as a rule... a fact that shops like Wurlitzer and Hermann found handy when importing and "improving" them earlier in this century.
It means "altered". In terms of sound, I think it was actually an improvement. I've played a few unaltered Scarampellas... Razor blades came to mind...
Many of the large shops, like Wurlitzer, Hermann and Moennig imported modern Italians.
I assume the Wurlitzer work was done in NY and OH, but I certainly don't have any way to confirm that... The information I do have was verbally passed along. There are a few others I didn't mention who imported and re-graduated this type of instrument as well, but I figured I'd already put my hand far enough in the fire already. :-)
If I felt like really getting in trouble, I might have mentioned the German parts that Postiglione was using in some of his later instruments, or that while Varagnola did exist, he seems to have died before many of these instruments were made and imported to the US... Ooops... there I go again...
Robert Glier 1894 $2000
Robert Glier, Jr. 1928 $5000
If anyone is interested in seeing (crude) pictures of my Gadda, drop me a line with the messaging or whatever it is.
For anyone who needs it: http://www.ericblot.com
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!