The Great Gagliano!
Several years ago I was in London. And I arranged to try out some old violins at Sotheby’s Musical Instruments department. What fun that was!
Because I had made the arrangements before I arrived, the folks at Sotheby’s allowed me to play several really old violins, and I just loved that experience.
Last Saturday I was in Los Angeles. And it occurred to me that there are several fine instrument shops there, so again I arranged to try out several fiddles.
This time I went to see Weisshaar Musical Instruments, and I had great fun again. I played five instruments made by the following Italian makers:
- Arturo Francassi, and lastly
Sound, violin selection, and violin playing are a very personal thing. For me, the last instrument, made by Italian maker Joseph Gagliano was simply outstanding, and it left all the others behind. Why?
The answer is difficult to express in words, but I will try:
- 1. I love a so-called ‘dark’ instrument; one that has a warmer, darker sound that is not so brilliant. One that emphasizes the bass, rather than the treble
- 2. I found this particular instrument to be highly *balanced*. What I mean is that that whether I played on the D-String, or on the E-string, the projection of the instrument was equal.
- 3. And this is the simplest: I had an easy time to create a wonderful, warm, beautiful sound.
Bottom line: I had a wonderful time exploring these instruments. No… I did not purchase any instrument. Waiting until I win Lotto, or the Publisher’s Clearing House.
It is the moment itself of holding and playing an instrument that was crafted when Mozart was still living that was an amazing experience.
Check back on this post: I may have a video for you to see in a few days…