Sarah Chang's violin

December 11, 2006 at 04:15 AM · I've been listening to her playing lately, and was kinda curious as to what bow and violin she uses. I tried Google but couldn't find anything, so I bring my question here. Anyone know?

Replies (44)

December 11, 2006 at 08:33 AM · She plays a Del Gesu, it is very beautiful. She uses a Sartory for concertos, and has 2 Peccattes and a Pajeot.

December 11, 2006 at 12:46 PM · It is a 1717 Guarneri del Gesu. Some other details:-

December 13, 2006 at 07:42 AM · Her violin and the sound she puts out with it is my favorite! The closest thing to her is Perlaman when he used a del Gesu, and Perlman on the soil strad.

Her sound is a tamed del Gesu, probably beacaue it is an early work of that master before he really tried to create a distinctive edge or growl with his violins. This violin has thickness, depth, and edge, but it is a bit smoother than most del Gesus. In any event, it is my favorite sound!

And she is my thrid favorite palyer behind Holland and Perlman. She is just fantastic! Even better live than on the recordings! And the violin fits her because she is a very aggressive player.

As for Perlman's soil, it does not sound like a strad to me; it sounds like a del Gesu with less edge, like Changs.

Just my oppinon! Love her Playing, hell if I was younger I'd ask her to marry me! LOL

December 14, 2006 at 01:25 AM · Raymond,

Don't give up! Mutter's husband is 20 years her senior. :-) Oops, please don't let your wife see my post.... :-)

Love Chang's playing as well.

December 14, 2006 at 04:01 AM · they divorced recently

December 14, 2006 at 08:10 AM · Yeah.. ASM tends to go for the "older" guys...

December 14, 2006 at 08:57 AM · Has anyone seen chang's violin up close? I've gotten to play it and, because of chang's agressive style of playing, there are lots of bow-scratch marks on her violin and lots of scractches from her nails beneath her fingerboard...I THINK it's from her playing, but it was all "restored" marks and cover-ups so i'm not too sure. I think for a while isaac stern played on this violin (which he helped sarah acquire) for fun and I'm sure he played a couple of scratches on that thing.

anyway, love sarah's playing. I love it even more lately, because she has kind of "eased" off on her agressiveness. Not as much vertical force exerted on to the violin as she had done before.

December 14, 2006 at 10:09 AM · Yea, I got to hold it and observed a lot of chunks out of wood where her bow obviously got the best o the violin. It's absolutely beautiful and she makes good use of it.

December 14, 2006 at 11:37 AM · I am older than Mutter!

By just 1 year! Would she marry me? I play the violin too.

December 14, 2006 at 05:31 PM · Ahhhh, any idea how much her del gesu cost?

December 14, 2006 at 08:17 PM · She bought it a while ago so it probably around 2 million.

December 14, 2006 at 10:06 PM · I did not ask her about the cost but she said it cost a lot. Family helped her pay for it first. I don't think it sounds like a typical G del Gesu though.

December 14, 2006 at 10:21 PM · Interesting, in 1717 Del Gesú was around 18 years old. This might imply quite a heavy part of the work being done by the father (Guarneri filius Andrea)in fact Charles Beare has commented, that he thinks it's an american thing to attribute the instruments from this period to del Gesú. In Europe it would probably be called a Joseph Guarneri filius Andrea.

Anyway if the fiddle sounds good it hardly matters!

December 15, 2006 at 03:46 AM · Does ayone know what age she was when she acquired it? I'm pretty sure it was in her early teen years, but I was just wondering if anyone knew as a fact.

Here's also my thoughts: Although the Del Gesu is fabulous, I personally believe that Sarah's playing is what makes her sound so unique. She played my friend's violin, and i could definetely here a similar tone to when she plays with her GDG.

Has anyone seen her tour of the Four Seasons lately? I wanted to know how she did with that.

December 15, 2006 at 04:31 AM · Greetings,

your absolutely right about it being the player not the instrument. It reminds me of the story about Kreisler being asked about his `Parker Stradivarius.`

`Well, it was made by Mr. Parker, and it`s a very good violin so...`



December 15, 2006 at 04:46 AM · She played it up here with the Rochester Philharmonic a couple months ago, but I found it a little too heavy for my tastes. Then again, my favorite one is the Carmignola and the Venice Baroque which is surprisingly bright and fresh. But, I digress...

December 15, 2006 at 05:27 AM · I agree it sounds like a del Gesu that is a bit tamed. Again, my favorite sound...the next best thing would be Perlman on the del Gesu he used a while back. But the closest sound to chang and her del Gesu is Perlman and the soil. I think Perlman's soil has more guts than any other strad, and Chang's del Gesu is more "civil" than any other del Gesu, and those two extreemes end up meeting pretty closely. And yes I also understand that both players are very aggressive players! Love it!!!!! And I still want to marry her!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 15, 2006 at 05:57 AM · I stated my intentions before you Raymond. Please wait in line. Thanks.

December 15, 2006 at 03:35 PM · You guys make it sound like it's her violin you want to marry, not her.

December 15, 2006 at 04:20 PM · well... considering how rough she is with her stick, I'd be a bit weary of letting her play with mine.

December 15, 2006 at 04:42 PM · lol pieter...

December 15, 2006 at 07:26 PM · True, but she has a very nice bow grip.

December 15, 2006 at 11:11 PM · I like her "fingering".

December 15, 2006 at 11:43 PM · How deep does she like to push bows into her "case"?

December 16, 2006 at 02:20 AM · "You guys make it sound like it's her violin you want to marry, not her."

This is a classical case of Buy 1 Get 1 Free.


December 16, 2006 at 02:23 AM · For the ladies, Vengerov "pushes" & "presses" hard with his bow - in a relative sense to Sarah Chang.

December 16, 2006 at 04:51 AM · Greetings,

there appears to be a bunch of pervs on this list. Perhaps substituting prune fluids for bodily fluids would help to calm things down.

Oh for the pre-freudian era of violin perfomance.



PS What`s a viola player`s definition of fore-play?

Are you awake?

December 16, 2006 at 07:01 AM · I'm reminded of Sterling Hayden's "precious bodily fluids" from Dr. Strangelove!

December 16, 2006 at 07:17 AM · Hey I just want to marry her! And honestyly I take offense at the way this turned out! Why, because this player and her violin really do it for me! Why? Because everything about her, including her violin, is hot! Her playing is the best! Her violin is the best! Her presence is the best! She is just on hell of player with one hell of a violin, and she is one class act! To me, the player of our time! And one heck of a lady!

As for the turn the jokes went--I am not into it!

December 16, 2006 at 01:32 PM · buri, thanks.

raymond, what can you bring to the table?:)

December 18, 2006 at 12:45 AM · Wow! After reading Raymond's last comments, I am tempted to play Yantel and wait in line patiently for my turn hoping that she can "understand". :-)


Did you put too much water in your damp-it? That's not good, man. :-)

March 10, 2007 at 08:33 AM ·

her guaneri pretty much blankets 2 cellos 2 other violins and a viola....from juilliard

March 10, 2007 at 08:37 AM · What a dazzling Guarneri...really outshines all those other instruments.

Though, of course it's Sarah's hand behind it :)

March 11, 2007 at 12:12 AM · Raymond,

I've got her cell phone number...should I send a nod your way?


March 11, 2007 at 12:20 AM · Oh dear God. Those double-entendres earlier on the thread made me feel like I was back at summer music camp--it got completely out of control, to the point where somehow we even managed to make risque double-entendres out of phrases like "paprika goulash", never mind "endpin" and "f-hole."

March 11, 2007 at 09:27 PM · Can someone recommend a great CD by Sarah Chang that you feel epitomizes her sytle and talent?

March 11, 2007 at 10:39 PM · The best recording she ever made, I think, is her Paganini concerto at 12.

March 12, 2007 at 01:48 AM · I would highly recommend her Fire and Ice C.D. It has Sarasate's carmen fantasy & ziguenerweisen as well as tzigane, meditation thais, and more. it highlights not only her fiery and technically perfect playing, but lets you hear a more touching and softer side of chang.

Her Goldmark VC album is considered to be one of the best interpretations/performances of that piece.

I personally love her Mendelssohn and Sibelius passionate and splendid.

Also, for the sheer historic significance, you should check out her Debut album when she recorded it using a 3/4 violin at the age of nine. Wonderful playing on there too.

March 12, 2007 at 02:43 AM · sarah chang's shosty and prokofiev 1s with simon rattle and berlin phil may be the best engineered album i have ever heard. the sound on that CD is WHOA! and her playing is gutsy and, well, she's just a lotta fun to listen to. she always puts everything she has into her playing. big, splashy, bold, and joyful fiddling in the zuckerman vein.

March 12, 2007 at 03:05 AM ·

March 13, 2007 at 04:30 PM · odd.... the ex-Isaac Stern violin is shown on the CD cover and mentioned in the notes, for the CD ("boeuf") I have for R. Capucon. Perhaps its the recording, but the violin has a very distinctive sound. Fabulous actually. Capucon is certainly worthy of it!

May 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM ·

   She uses a 1717 Guarneri del Gesu violin. When she needed a full size violin Isaac Stern put the word out that she needed a new violin and he got a collection of around 10 or so Stradivariuses and Guarneris and tried them out at Carnegie Hall they  were both stubborn about which violin was good for her but when she played her first piece on the 1717 del Gesu they agreed immediately that that violin was it for her :) And as for her bows she uses a Sartory and a Peccate as her "very reliable concerto bows" for concertos like Sibelius and Mendelssohn, a Pajeot for Mozart and Bach. Hope it helps!

May 6, 2011 at 02:47 PM ·

Has anyone seen chang's violin up close? I've gotten to play it and, because of chang's agressive style of playing, there are lots of bow-scratch marks on her violin and lots of scractches from her nails beneath her fingerboard...I THINK it's from her playing, but it was all "restored" marks and cover-ups so i'm not too sure. I think for a while isaac stern played on this violin (which he helped sarah acquire) for fun and I'm sure he played a couple of scratches on that thing.


Thanks for saying this!!!

I do think Sarah Chang is the best woman violinist out there and also as wonderful as the masters!  What I like is that she is afraid of nothing and that is not given to many. I am in total admiration for her playing and art! 

I think I like players with a huge sound!  (even if their approch to it is sometimes different)

After having done a few unintentionnal scratches on my beloved violin practicing Rhode studies and high scales...and feeling very guilty about them, I have asked myself if the violin of "powerful soloists" was sometimes scratched unintentionally by them...  I remember having see Oistrakh accidentally hit his violin with his bow on a Shostakovich concerto video.  It made an audible "toc" but who could make a perfect Shosty without any accidents!       

May 6, 2011 at 02:51 PM ·

Nothing better than Sarah introduce her violin and bows herself.

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