Beethoven's string instruments
I read that Beethoven received a nice quartet of string instruments from Prince Lichnowsky in 1800. The instruments included Amati and Guarneri violins. Do these instruments still exist and does anyone still play them?
I believe his Viola is in 'Beethoven House' but I don't know for certain or where any other instrument of his may be located.
With that remarkable line-up of instruments from the good Prince Lichnowsky I wonder if Beethoven would have invited the usual suspects round to have a run through of his latest quartet or piano trio? I know I would.
Since I have seen color photographs of the instruments in a Beethoven bicentenial book edition (c)1974, they most likely still exist. The Giuseppe Guarneri violin is dated 1718, the Amati 1667, the Ruger viola 1690 and Guarneri cello 1712. This should narrow it down if you do a search, but I believe they were in the custody at the time the book was written of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin Instrument Museum of the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung
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