Have you ever seen identical twin violins? Well, here is a pair, only they were born 267 years apart:
© Endre Balogh, published with permission from the photographer
At right is the 1728 ex-Artot, ex-Alard Stradivari, and on the left is a replica, made in 1995 by luthier Gregg Alf, whose studio is in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The photographer who took the stunning picture above is Endre Balogh, who also happens to be the violinist who owns both instruments. I wound up in his living room Los Angeles on Tuesday, at the invitation of Gregg Alf, who was visiting Southern California for a few days.
Endre held one fiddle in each hand, "Can you tell?" He showed me the fronts, the backs, rolled each around to the corresponding ribs….identical color, shape, even little scratches. What detail!
"Not by sight, not at all," I said. I wasn't willing to let it go at that, though; I crouched very close to each one and how can I describe? Tried to feel the force field around them? "This one gives me the old-violin feeling." I guessed right. I could tell them apart when I played a few notes on each, but you will laugh at me, when Endre mixed them up and played them for me from across the room, I thought he was playing the Strad when he was playing Alf's instrument. Got me! It sounded really nice. The fiddles have provided Balogh much inspiration, not just musically, but visually; here is a whole gallery of his violin photos. Enjoy!Tweet
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