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School, as a word or notion, cannot be clearly explained unless we speak about it as a specific style trend. Besides, styles can be interpreted in a stricter or a broader sense as well.

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Italian Violin Making Schools 1.

 

The 'Lady Blunt' Stradivarius of 1721

School, as a word or notion, cannot be clearly explained unless we speak about it as a specific style trend. Besides, styles can be interpreted in a stricter or a broader sense as well. What we mean by the notion of style becomes evident when we say that the violins from the first period of the Brescian school were inspired by the sources of the gothic style and that the musical instruments from Cremona emerged from the baroque. In addition, it can be said that the Cremonian school had a successor in Naples where they continued building their own traditions according to those of the school in Cremona without being able to lay any claim to develop their own direction. If we regard it as a school of Gagliano, then the concept of baroque will not bring us closer the phenomena it can be explained by. It is because the differences in the style of violin making were of sublimed format rather than dependent on grades. The dependence of the school of Naples on that of Cremona can be interpreted by the fact that it was not established as an equivalent to the one in Cremona, but as a subdivision of it.

It is worth examining the three schools separately. According to their seats they were: Cremona, Brescia and Absam. According to the names of their most excellent representatives, the names of Amati, Gaspar da Saló and Stainer can be mentioned. It would not make much sense to speak about heritageas it was not they who invented the violin. By that time, it had been existing in a slightly different form for a long time.

The Italian violins of classical times can be traced back to either Gasparo da Salò (and Maggini) or Amati (and Stradivari) or Stainer. Sometimes, it may be hard to define it clearly.  It happens in such cases when two styles merge together or if one of them is under the influence of the other. For example, the violin of Seraphin was the prototype of the one where the formal elements of Cremona and Absam were overlapping each other. 

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References

  • Friedrich Niederheitmann: Cremona: An Account Of The Italian Violin-Makers And Their Instruments
  • Walter Hamma: Meister italienischer geigenbaukunst