City of violins

Many consider "the birthplace of violins" the city of Cremona in the Italian province of Lombardy. However, this does not mean that the violin was invented in Cremona, on this account there are different opinions. The greatest violin masters were born and worked in Cremona: one of the founders of the classical violin type was Andrea Amati (1520-1578) with sons, Antonio Stradivari (1544–1737) and the Guarneri family: father - Andrea (1622 or 1626-1698), son - Pietro (1655-1720) and grandson of Giuseppe, dubbed Del Gesu (1698-1744).


In the 16th century, when the violin had just begun its victorious march around the world, the city of violins was called not so much to Cremona as the other Lombard city - Breshu (Brescia). Indeed, it was in Breshes that the term “violino” appeared - in Italian: violin. Bresch could boast of many violin makers. But in 1630 the plague began, from which the last of the great violin masters of Brescia, Giovanni Paolo Magini, died.


By that time, a violin case had taken root in other cities, for example, in Venice, and countries - in Belgium and in France (in Lyon). There, too, produced good stringed instruments, but their creators still lacked that refined skill with which the Italians were famous.The art of making violins reached its peak at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. and it happened in the same Cremona when Stradivari and Guarneri worked there.


Stradivarius, who studied with Antonio Amati, created violins, considered to be the best stringed instruments of all time. His violins and today sound in the concert halls, they are played by the most famous musicians of the world. The number of extant violins Stradivarius in the hundreds. Most of them in Spain. They are kept in the Royal Palace in Madrid. The second largest collection is in Tokyo, it belongs to the Japanese Music Foundation, which provides these instruments for free to the best violinists of the world.


If anyone could compete with Stradivari in the art of making violins, it is Guarneri del Gesu. His violins sounded louder, but despite his fame, during his lifetime Guarneri remained in the shadow of Stradivarius. Real fame came to Guarneri after his death, in the XIX century, thanks to the great violinist Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840). Paganini played at his concerts on violins Guarneri. The violins of Guarneri del Gesu are currently considered the most expensive: one was sold at auction for $ 3.9 million, which was a world record. But recently this record was exceeded.


 The most interesting facts

It is assumed that this is one of the secrets (though not the only one) of Stradivari's miracle, who personally selected the trees for felling in the forests of the Val di Fiemme valley. Then he processed wood and made violins from it.


Scientists believe that Europe from the XVI to XIX century. survived the third, the coldest, phase of the Little Ice Age. The glaciation, however, did not happen, but the winters were longer and colder than now, and the summers are shorter and cooler. The natural selection destroyed the sick trees, and the remaining rings became thinner. There are studies showing that such wood, as then, now simply does not exist.

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