Giuseppe Guarneri – great master
In the XVII century, when the violins gained great popularity, a number of outstanding masters, making excellent instruments, appeared in Italy. These were the families of Amati and Guarneri, as well as Antonio Stradivari. Their work is still considered unsurpassed.
Bartolomeo Giuseppe Antonio Guarneri, who is the creator of the most expensive instrument to date, was born in 1698. The future great master was born and lived in the Italian city Cremona, the capital of musical instruments of that time. The boy was very talented. After all, making a good violin is a complex process. The strength and timbre of sound is affected not only by the material from which it is made, but also by the mass of minor details, for example, the composition of the varnish. The varnish protects the violin from changing the quality of the wood and gives it a noble color: from light golden to dark red or brown.
The violins made by Stradivari and Amati were the most famous in those years. Masters made instruments from walnut, maple and lemon wood. The wood was dried in natural conditions for two years, then the parts were carved and fastened together with natural glue. Later the violin was covered with varnish. To make the strings they used guts of 7-8-month-old alpine lambs.
Guarneri immediately began to experiment with wood and varnish, trying to change the form of the violin. Some of his instruments are larger in size and have an original shape. But experts say that they also sound brighter and more melodious. There is an abbreviation on his instruments, which stands for “Jesus habemus socium”, that’s why Guarneri was nicknamed “del Gesu”.
Due to the fact that he often violated the shape and proportion of the instrument, the fate of his violins was not easy. However, eventually it became clear that all the instruments made by him have a divine sound.
When the master was 43 years old, he made a violin, which eventually got the name of the outstanding Belgian composer and violinist Henri Vieuxtemps. In 2010, it was sold for $ 18 million. This is the highest price for the violin. You know, specialists call this violin Mona Lisa among violins. So among the 130 existing violins of Guarneri, it is not only the most expensive, but also the best in strength and beauty of sound.
Interesting facts about violins
– The exact date of birth of the violin is unknown, but approximately, this is the end of the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century. The very first violins were made by the same masters that produced lutes and violas, and then violin makers appeared.
– Initially, the violin was considered an instrument of folk, fair and tavern, and noble people preferred to use a viola that sounded softer.
– Until 1750, sheep’s guts were the best material for making strings.
– In the Balkan countries and Moldova, the violin is still considered a folk instrument.
– The violinist from Guangzhou (southern China) created the smallest violin, which is 1 cm long. It took him seven years.
– There are more violins in the symphonic orchestra than any other instruments.
– Antonio Stradivari made his first violin at the age of thirteen and the last one was made when he was ninety-three years old. In total, Stradivari made 1500 instruments.
– You know, Norwegian folk burned violins like witches.
– By the way, the violin stimulates the work of the brain. No wonder that many outstanding minds liked to play this magical instrument.