Mozart's concerts recorded on his personal violin
I’ve stumbled upon this video on YouTube which is a trailer for a recent album release of a collection of Mozart's violin concertos. The twist is that they have been recorded on Mozart's very own instrument!
Maybe it is just my ignorance, but I had never heard of one of his full-sized violins surviving to this day, let alone in such pristine condition. It sounds rather nice, so I figured it might be appreciated here:
I do wonder, being very uneducated in this regard: is there a reason to record the concerts using a baroque bow rather than a classical bow? I have never heard of playing Mozart with a baroque bow and can’t quite imagine doing it myself…
Mozart would have adored Codabow.
A classical bow is not quite the same as a Tourte bow (which became the blueprint for the 'modern' bow). An example of a classical (also known as a transitional bow) is the London maker John Dodd. It is very likely in the second half of the 18th century players were playing on a mixture of bows. Some musicians, perhaps the older ones, may have been using what we would recognise as a baroque bow, some the later 18th century transitional bow. It is not impossible that Mozart came across an early style of Tourte bow due to his touring of Paris. Also worth baring in mind Paganini preferred not to play on Tourte style bows; the later part of the 18th century and early 19th century very much being a period of experimentation before the Tourte became the default model.
Mozart's bow would have been matched to his violin for sound.
Paul that is a big emphasis in the modern violin world. Do you have any citations for it being a focus in Mozart's period? I have seen a few quotes from correspondence about violins, but sadly little about bows.
Might be interesting to hear his violin and viola in concert. When Mozart died, I believe a viola (but not a violin) was in his possessions. He loved to play the viola and wrote some great music for it.
There was a very interesting interview with the violinist Christoph Konsz, the performer on this violin, on the CBC radio program "As It Happens", a few days ago. I believe the instrument was a Klotz. You can listen to it (and read about it) here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-the-monday-edition-1.5759572/this-musician-recorded-mozart-s-concertos-on-the-composer-s-original-violin-1.5759573
Correction -- this violin is a 1764 Pietro Antonio Dalla Costa.
I am a bit confused, Parker, since I had read a German interview about the whole project, too, where it was said that this particular instrument comes from Mittenwald, which would fit the Klotz-tag, more or less? I can't seem to find this specific link, but this radio interview here also mentions that this violin is from around 1710.
Thanks, Benjamin. Now I'm confused again, & curious. The blog on this website, "For the Record", described the violin as a 1764 Dalla Costa (https://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/202010/28499/), but an article which ran in The Guardian, and the German interview you cite, both say Mittenwald 1710, which as you point out would likely indicate Klotz. Hope somebody can clarify this.
I assume more than 1 violin has been attributed to Mozart.
I've checked further. According to the violinist Christoph Koncz, in his interview with The Strad magazine (October 9), the latest theory is that this violin was made in Mittenwald at the beginning of the 18th century by Aegidius Klotz. This is consistent with what Benjamin reported above. For more details, here is a link to The Strad article: https://www.thestrad.com/lutherie/what-is-it-like-to-play-wolfgang-amadeus-mozarts-own-violin/11309.article
Ah, but what brand of strings? And are they still performing well?
The sound in the short youtube fragment that Benjamin mentioned in the beginning is very sweet!
Stephen in the video he says he put on a new set of gut strings, but no brand specified.
In the picture he's got Eudoxa G and d, and plain gut a and e, wound d is not authentic for the time period. And Eudoxa is not a historical baroque string.
You could use a wound gut G like Eudoxa for historical performance. Some players started using them for the G in the 18th century with unwound plain gut D,A, and E.
A Eudoxa wound gut G is not made like a historical string suppliers wound gut G, it has a layer of silk inside I think. If you want a cheap baroque G you can use Eudoxa but a proper G like Gamut will be more authentic, but more costly.