Nicolò Amati, Cremona, 1641, the ‘Hambourg’
The masterpiece appeared at Beare’s shop, and the instrument was immediately recognized by the authors as one on which Amati had worked on in the 17th century.
Nicolò Amati, the grandson of Andrea Amati, inherited his father’s workshop after the plague devastated 1/3 of northern Italy’s population. The workshop of Amati was already a large-scale business that supplied musical instruments to the most demanding musicians of the 17th century. In addition to making instruments; cases, bows, and accessories were all produced there. This made him need assistants in the making, which later resulted in many young men passing through his workshop, learning and disseminating his method across European lands.
The Lipinski Stradivarius
The story has a relation with the Devil itself! Giuseppe Tartini its owner woke up frustrated by his inability to play what the Devil had played on his violin during his dreams, Tartini persevered, and his persistence finally paid off with the composition of his Devil’s Trill Sonata. Several years later, Tartini acquired a beautiful Stradivarius violin, which was capable of giving the best of the Devil’s Trill Sonata.
Made in 1715, the violin carries the name of the ‘Lipinski’ Stradivarius, the name of a great Polish violinist, Karol Lipinski. It is said he played along with Paganini in concerts during 1818. However, after his death in 1861, the instrument came into the possession of the Roentgen family. Today, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond plays the ‘Lipinski’ Stradivarius.
Undoubtedly, the instrument passed through the hands of amazing musicians, Antonio Stradivari was one of the best violin makers of all times, and his instruments are studied and serve as inspiration today.
According to Tarisio, players such as Angel Reyes, Evi Liivak, Frank Almond, Julius (II) Röntgen, Karel Jozef Lipinski, Louis Persinger played the instrument.
The 1733-35 ‘Kreisler’ – Carlo Bergonzi
The 1733-35 ‘Kreisler’ is an outstanding example of Carlo Bergonzi’s work. Bergonzi was the last of the classical Cremonese luthiers and successor to the workshop of Stradivari. Like the ‘Arditi’ Stradivari violin, this particular instrument can be traced back to the collection of Count Cozio di Salabue, and it is listed in 1841 as one of two Bergonzi violins attributed to Stradivari.
It has passed through the hands of excellent players; Fritz Kreisler, after whom it is named, and Itzhak Perlman. Dextra Musica obtained it in 2006 from the celebrated collector David L. Fulton. The instrument is one of only two surviving Bergonzis that retains its original neck, and the condition throughout is exceptionally fresh. The varnish is abundant and unspoiled, having been left untouched by polishing or retouching.
The ‘Gibson ex Huberman’ – Stradivari
The violin has a curious history. It was stolen twice from its owner, Bronisław Huberman. The first time, the violin was stolen on the musician’s 1916 European tour and was recovered just a few days later. The second time, was during a concert in 1936 when the violinist Bronislaw Huberman was performing at Carnegie Hall. During the second part, the musician changed his Stradivari to a Guarneri, and the instrument was stolen from his dressing room.
Despite investigations, no one knows exactly how and why the violin was stolen in 1936. In 1985, however, a New York violinist named Julian Altman died and made a deathbed confession that helped to solve the crime. Nowadays, the instrument is owned by the great violinist Joshua Bell and the artist has great affection for the instrument, saying it seems to be part of him.
Il Cannone 1743 by Guarneri ‘del Gesù’
The violin, known as Il Cannone, 1743, belonged to Nicolo Paganini, the celebrated 19th-century violinist. He nicknamed the instrument “my canon violin” since he loved its resonant sound. Paganini’s possession of the violin is still uncertain. However, the more probable one is that the violin was bestowed on him by a particular amateur musician and businessman from Livorno in 1802.
The ‘Cannon’ now enjoys a more retired life in the refurbished Sala Paganiniana in Genova’s Palazzo Tursi, under the supervision of the Museums of Strada Nuova. It was refitted in 2004 with copies of the fingerboard, pegs, bridge, and tailpiece used by Paganini and is exhibited with a set of plain gut strings, as the great virtuoso would have played it.