Genoa Violin

April 13, 2005 at 11:38 PM · Please advise-- I'll be travelling to Genoa, Italy next week. I would like to know if anyone can recommend a violin dealer there- I'm looking for something in the price range of US$ 2,000 for a fiddle.

Can you recommend a good dealer or maker? Doesn't have to be the Canone (...just kidding).

Replies (5)

April 14, 2005 at 01:20 AM · I wouldn't buy an Italian if I had $2000.

April 14, 2005 at 08:02 AM · Enosh,

any reason why I shouldn't buy a US$ 2,000 Italian violin? Please let me know, thanks.

April 14, 2005 at 09:15 AM · I'm not sure if this was exactly what he'd meant, but in my understanding the violins made in Italy at the moment tend to be quite bipolar. I say that to mean the standard deviation of quality is extremely high. You get some awfully good fiddles at the higher price spectrums (which, judging from reports about the work of the Villa brothers, for instance, isn't exactly true either - they don't tend to overcharge but yet make apparently great violins), but whatever's below a certain price is just not worth the time, effort and expenditure. There is an understanding in the market that, for all the good work that's emerging from Cremona at the moment, a lot of it isn't worth a second look.

However, taking that $2000 which you have to the American market, for instance, you might get far better quality. Some of the US shops import instruments from China and Eastern Europe which are very nice indeed. Of course, you will have to shop around quite extensively to find something you really like, but the chances of that are probably higher than in Genoa. I once played an Amadeus violin, made in China, which I found really great.

Keep an open mind, and really, who's to say you won't find something you like in Genoa anyway? Just go there, ask around, and see what crops up. But, if you find nothing you like, don't despair either because there're many more grapes out there for the picking.

EDIT: I have noticed from your profile, Chester, that you're from Hong Kong. I wonder if it'll be even better for you to have a look at the Chinese domestic market, where prices are far lower than in western countries. You might have the rare chance to access good Chinese luthiers who are largely unknown to violinists outside China. Just a thought.

April 14, 2005 at 03:06 PM · There is no sense in buying a $2000 Italian violin.

Italian violins are the best for a number of reasons, the best makers, and materials seemed to have developed this synergy which resulted in the world's best instruments. You're trying to buy a Mercedes with Honda money, just to say that you own a Mercedes.

You will not get a violin from Italy to be proud of for $2000. Consider the east european market, or the chinese market.

April 15, 2005 at 03:39 AM · Thank you Keith for a descriptive response-- I greatly appreciate it very much. You're right, I currently work in Hong Kong, non music related, but am very close to the music circle. I will look into what you advised. However, can you kindly let me konw which Chinese lutheir and location is recommended- based on what you know thus far?

Thanks Peter for the East European and Chinese market recommendation. Please let me know on the above, based on what you know, as well.

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