which violin do you chose??

November 8, 2007 at 06:07 PM ·

Replies (45)

November 9, 2007 at 04:16 AM · How about a del Gesu cello? (There is no such thing.)

If not that, then maybe a violin made by Ben Dover.

Is this a realistic question? I mean, if I suggest that you make a replica of Anne-Sophie Mutter's Lord Dunn Raven Stradivarius, how would you find out the dimensions?

November 8, 2007 at 08:20 PM · paganini's cannon :-d

November 8, 2007 at 08:55 PM · That's a great question. I would like a copy of the Messiah. This way, I can have either a copy of a genuine Strad or a genuine Vuillaume. I'm covering my bets. :)

November 9, 2007 at 02:55 AM ·

November 9, 2007 at 03:08 AM · I'm madly in love with Barnabás Kelemen's "ex-Kovacs" Guarneri del Gesu...

November 9, 2007 at 04:57 AM · Would like to see someone copy the 1702 Strad that Oistrakh played. One piece back, un-matched top, can already see it in my violin case.

November 9, 2007 at 05:21 AM · what about the 1560 amati?

November 9, 2007 at 10:33 AM · My favourit model is Del Gesù's "Cannone", that belonged to Paganini... I have an atraction for the Leduc, 1745, ascribed to Del Gesù, but probably made by his wife Katarina, since Giuseppe had died in 1744. But I'm currently making only violas now, 17 inches violas inspired in Andrea Guarneri.

November 9, 2007 at 01:08 PM · "How about a del Gesu cello? (There is no such thing.)"

Actually, that's not quite true. There is one 'cello attributed to del Gesu, made for and labeled filius Andrea during a time his father was in hospital. The Slobodkin 'celli sold through Reuning & Son are based on this instrument.

November 9, 2007 at 01:20 PM · My favourite are "Hercules" Strad (Ex-Szeryng) and "Maria Therese" Strad (Ex-Milstein).

November 9, 2007 at 03:04 PM · Thanks for clarifying the filius Andrea cello. What does it sound like?

November 9, 2007 at 03:44 PM · I like Daniel's idea...an Amati! When I was a music major in 1983 I took a loaner violin and it was labeled as a copy of an Amati. Loved it! Latter on I worked for a while at H&H music in Houston, the violin repair guy (Jim Scogans I believe) had violins in a shop. One was an Amati copy 1852. Sounded great also, not as boxy as Strad copies I've heard (then again the Strad copies I have heard only went as far as the $3200.00)

November 9, 2007 at 04:57 PM · Putting in a vote for the viola world, here:

The Gaspar De Salo that Zuckerman played before he traded it for a Guarnerius. (He said it was too big, and made switching too extreme).

I loved that viola; for me, it was the apex of the viola sound.

November 9, 2007 at 07:48 PM · "Thanks for clarifying the filius Andrea cello. What does it sound like?"

I thought it sounded rather well when I saw it last... allthough I found it a little "challenging" to play. Of course, I must admit that I find playing almost all 'cellos a little challenging. :-) (terminal violinist)

November 9, 2007 at 08:37 PM · Guaneri del Gesu's "Il Canone", Paganinni's favorite. I've heard Scott Cao has made a copy of it.

November 9, 2007 at 11:01 PM · collin mezin perhaps???

November 10, 2007 at 05:19 AM · As far as del Gesu cellos go. I heard there's only one known and Gutman plays it. My mom heard her play Shosty 1 and she said it was the most amazing cello she ever heard. If it's a del Gesu I believe it.

As for violins I want a Cannon. According to our luthier at IU the back is 12 or 13mm thick. And yet it weighs as little as strads. Acoustic perfection at it's best. What recordings exist of the Cannon?

November 10, 2007 at 08:09 AM · Not possible. That's half an inch.

November 10, 2007 at 01:39 PM · The "Cannon" Guarneri is more like 6mm (1/4 inch) at the thickest point on the back, depending on whose measurements you go by.

(LINK to a source for this info)

Some "discussions" put the thickness as high as 8mm.

November 10, 2007 at 02:56 PM · "As far as del Gesu cellos go. I heard there's only one known and Gutman plays it."

It's dated 1731 (filius label), BTW. I wasn't aware that Gutman was playing it. Good to know. The last I had heard of it was the loan to David Geringas by the Stradivari Society, but that was a good number of years ago.

November 11, 2007 at 03:09 AM · Andrea Guarneri, Giuseppe Guarneri and Pietro Giovanni Guarneri made fine cellos, with Pietro's probably the finest -- but very rare.

If you were to make a replica cello, the best would be the B-form Stradivarius cello, such as the Davidoff of 1712, formerly played by Jacqueline du Pre and now by Yo-Yo Ma. Runners-up cellos would possibly be those by Gagliano (ie early 1730s) and Montagnana (ie 1740s).

For violins, a golden period Strad would be my choice, Anne-Sophie Mutter owns two.

November 11, 2007 at 06:04 AM · "Andrea Guarneri, Giuseppe Guarneri and Pietro Giovanni Guarneri made fine cellos, with Pietro's probably the finest -- but very rare."

Peter of Venice made fine ones as well.

Mentioning 'celli by Peter of Mantua as being "very rare" may be an understatement. I know of only one that is considered correctly attributed. It bears the label of Andrea, and I believe (if memory serves me) it's been altered (cut)... Therefore and I think it's difficult to rate that maker's 'celli as "the finest" in the family (although I'm sure it's owner loves it). :-)

November 11, 2007 at 08:39 PM · According to Cozio.com, there are 14 known Pietro Guarneri cellos in existance today. The earliest known Pietro cello is a 1694 cello with the label Andrea Guarneri, but believed to be made by Pietro Guarneri, who worked under Andrea at that time, due to the style.

Peitro Guarneri established his laudable reputation after moving to Venice around 1717. A notable 1739 cello, known as the ex-Beatrice Harrison, is owned by David Fulton. A 1725 Pietro cello was once owned by Joyce Cordell. For just the year 1735, four wonderful cellos exist.

The last year a surviving cello was made by Pietro is 1755.

November 11, 2007 at 10:25 PM · "According to Cozio.com, there are 14 known Pietro Guarneri cellos in existance today. The earliest known Pietro cello is a 1694 cello with the label Andrea Guarneri, but believed to be made by Pietro Guarneri, who worked under Andrea at that time, due to the style."

T. Carlsen;

Not to clutter up the thread too much, but please note that my previous post stated "Peter of Venice made fine ones as well."

Cosio is a valuable data base, which is constantly being updated, but offers information concerning the attribution of instruments which is not always completely current (corrected). I believe they still list instruments attributed to Lorenzo Guadagnini there, for example. Also, like any data base, it's a victim of what you enter...if you simply search for "Pietro Guarneri", I believe you will pull up instruments attributed to both makers by that name.

Anyway, the name you offered on your original post was Pietro Giovanni Guarneri (Pietro Giovanni Guarneri figlio di Andrea; known as Peter of Mantua; who died around 1720) As I mentioned, I know of only one 'cello that that is reliably attributed to his hand, bearing an Andrea label. I believe it's still owned by Ron Leonard, but I could be wrong.

Peter of Venice (Pietro Guarneri figlio di Giuseppe) would not yet have been born in 1694... and would have been about 3 years old when Andrea died... so I doubt he had a chance to build a 'cello for him. :-)

BTW: The Peter of Venice acquired by Mr. Fulton is a very fine and beautiful instrument. I had some time with it (between owners) a number of years ago. I think it's well worth a bench study (copy).

November 11, 2007 at 10:12 PM · This is very interesting. My memory is not reliable with the details of subjects like this. I read scholarly information, which is laudable, but lose a few details.

Now I thought, as the story goes, that Pietro began his career with the family business in Cremona and then surprisingly left it to make his name in Venice. This was a surprsing move since he would have inherited the shop once the old man died. It has no explanation other than a family feud or, most likely, the fact that Stradivari had so over-shawdowed the family reputation back home that he felt it was necessary to open shop in another town. I simply assumed that Pietro of Mantua was Pietro back home and then Pietro of Venice was the same guy after he moved to Venice.

But a quick check at Wikipedia shows that they were two different people.

With that said, I really do not know which Pietro is considered the fine cello maker I referred to earlier.

Finally, Cozio.com does list the two makers seperately by the two seperate names, which is accurate. I had simply combined the two together when thinking they were the same person.

Other than my one error of fact, the overall gist of my information should be correct.

November 11, 2007 at 10:29 PM · I'd love a faithful copy of the Soil. I also wish makers would do more with Bergonzi and Montagnana. I have found both to often outperform lesser Strads. I love these violins a lot.

November 11, 2007 at 10:40 PM · Pieter;

The focus of the Oberlin maker's workshop last summer was Bergonzi... so maybe we'll see a few more makers using his design/style in the near future.

November 11, 2007 at 11:19 PM · as in

`Did you hear the Berg on zee radio last night?`



November 11, 2007 at 11:34 PM · "Did you hear the Berg on zee radio last night?"

Buri, was he any good? :-)

November 11, 2007 at 11:39 PM · he won by a Hare

November 11, 2007 at 11:45 PM · :-)

November 12, 2007 at 01:32 AM · DB quote:

The "Cannon" Guarneri is more like 6mm (1/4 inch) at the thickest point on the back, depending on whose measurements you go by.

The measurements by Alberto Giordano, John Dilworth and Cesare Candi all vary.

The Cannone will go in for TAC inspection in 2008 so we'll have correct numbers.


November 14, 2007 at 05:51 PM · I would copy the Habeneck Stradivari of 1734. It has the wildest F-holes I've ever seen on a Stradivari instrument.

November 15, 2007 at 03:10 AM · This is one where I not only can think about it, but I can do it. :-) My answer is the "Cannone" which is the most remarkable violin I have heard, a beautiful instrument, and a fabulous and effective model from the technical angle, too. I really think that it's a high point in violin design, structurally.

November 16, 2007 at 09:31 PM ·

November 16, 2007 at 10:22 PM · It's permanently off the market. I would estimate the value at effectively infinite.

November 16, 2007 at 10:32 PM · daniel, worry not. you still have a chance to play it nonetheless...

i think, if i am not mistaken, the winner of the paganini violin competition gets to play it in a concert?

November 16, 2007 at 11:35 PM ·

November 17, 2007 at 03:29 AM · You had me thinking about the value. A sister instrument, but not with the reputation or condition, sold for over $7 million. There are rumors floating around of two instruments of similar rarity, and desirability, but not the Paganini name attached, selling for nearly $20 million each. In that context, something like $30 million wouldn't necessarily surprise me, though I could imagine a lot of people in the business would not agree with me on that. . . . . until they had it in their shop to sell. :-)

November 17, 2007 at 03:43 AM ·

February 8, 2008 at 05:20 AM · The "Lord Wilton." It's a Guarneri Del Gesu that Yehudi Menuhin played. I heard it was pretty eccentric as far as DGs go.

February 11, 2008 at 02:49 AM · Having one commissioned/built for my daughter and it is the Kreisler del gesu of 1730 can't wait till it gets done.

February 11, 2008 at 12:33 PM · If I was commissioning a violin,I would want it to be inspired by ------- ,but with the makers own personality clearly evident.I have enjoyed watching a close friend of mine make violins for about four years and although he likes Del Gesu models,one can get a sense of personal growth with each finished violin leaving his bench.

February 11, 2008 at 01:01 PM · "As far as del Gesu cellos go. I heard there's only one known and Gutman plays it."

I heard it too about a half a year ago. Natalia Gutman played Shostakovitch 1. She has been playing it for a few years. It sounds very full and dark and has got a lot of wolf notes.

It has a poplar back and the archings are quite flat and resemble more violin archings than what one would expect from a cello arch. The arching (and the workmanship in general) reminded me slightly of the "Kreisler" del Gesu .

A wonderful Cello.


February 11, 2008 at 01:47 PM · I have a very close copy of the Hellier Strad, made in China. It's antiqued, but nor beat up. It's all the more remarkable considering that the maker(s) probably only had that great photo set from the Strad Magazine a while back to go by, as opposed to a maker getting to spend some time with the original instrument, even taking a plaster cast, etc. and producing a bench copy.

But last April I had a more satisfying experience of taking possesion of a violin I had directly commisioned from Edward Maday, of Long Island, New York. I had asked him to closely base it on the "Lord Wilton" del Gesu, that Menhuin had kept to the end of his life. I did not want it antiqued, and did not care if every milimeter of dimensions and thickness matched the original. Rather, I wanted a nice reflection of the original that left room for Ed to be himself, as well. We chose the wood together -very old, acoustically excellent wood - and that was a very exciting experience. I was literally in at the moment of conception! I kept a couple of wood pieces, as he worked on the violin, as souvineers. The tonal results have been wonderful. After some playing-in and a couple of adjustments, the violin is now-a-days, darkly brilliant and powerful, but also rich, warm, deep, and chewy. Before it was this good, I had a chance to test it out in Carnegie Hall, with people listening at a distance - and it projected very well.

I just commisioned another violin from Ed Maday. This time I asked that it be based on Paganini's del Gesu, "Ill Cannone". We similarly chose the wood together. I can't wait to see and hear the results!

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