A Stradivarius is one of the violins, violas, cellos and other string instruments built by members of the Italian family Stradivari, particularly Antonio Stradivari (Latin: Antonius Stradivarius), during the 17th and 18th centuries. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. The fame of Stradivarius instruments is widespread, appearing in numerous works of fiction.
Stradivari made his instruments using an inner form, unlike the French copyists, such as Vuillaume, who employed an outer form. It is clear from the number of forms throughout his career that he experimented with some of the dimensions of his instruments. The woods used included spruce for the top, willow for the internal blocks and linings, and maple for the back, ribs, and neck.
There has been conjecture that the wood used may have been treated with several types of minerals, both before and after construction of a violin. Scientists at National Taiwan University have detected trace amounts of aluminum, copper, and calcium in wood from Stradivari violins. The traces may have come from chemical preservatives applied by loggers to the wood they sold. As well, the violin makers applied varnishes to their instruments. Potassium borate (borax) may have been used to protect against Woodworm. Sodium and potassium silicate may have been used to prevent mildew, rotting and insect damage. Simone Fernando Sacconi suggested that Vernice bianca, an egg tempera varnish composed of gum arabic, honey, and egg white, may have been used.
More recently, French chemist Jean-Philippe Echard and his co-workers have studied varnishes on Stradivarius violins. He reports that even when varnish is no longer visible to the human eye on the surface of older violins, it can be detected within the top layers of cells. A lower layer of varnish is found within the topmost wood cells while an upper rests upon the wood. Echard's findings also suggest that Stradivari used a mixture of common Cremonese resin, oil, and pigment as a varnish, rather than making his own. Echard did not find traces of specialized ingredients such as protein materials, gums, or fossil amber.
A comparative study published in PLOS ONE in 2008 found no significant differences in median densities between modern and classical violins, or between classical violins from different origins; instead the survey of several modern and classical examples of violins highlighted a notable distinction when comparing density differentials. These results suggest that differences in density differentials in the material may have played a significant role in the sound production of classical violins. A later survey, focused on comparing median densities in both classical and modern violin examples, questioned the role available materials may have played in sound production differences, though it made no comment on variations in density differentials. The content of copper and aluminium is higher than current instruments.
A Stradivarius made in the 1680s, or during Stradivari's "Long Pattern" period from 1690 to 1700, could be worth hundreds of thousands to several million U.S. dollars at today's prices. The 1697 "Molitor" Stradivarius, once rumored to have belonged to Napoleon (it did belong to a general in his army, Count Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor), sold in 2010 at Tarisio Auctions to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers for $3,600,000, at the time a world record.
Depending on condition, instruments made during Stradivari's "golden period" from 1700 to about 1725 can be worth millions of dollars. In 2011, his "Lady Blunt" violin from 1721, which is in pristine condition, was sold in London for $15.9 million (it is named after Lord Byron's granddaughter Lady Anne Blunt, who owned it for 30 years). It was sold by the Nippon Music Foundation in aid of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami appeal. In Spring 2014 the "Macdonald" viola was put up for auction through the musical instrument auction house Ingles & Hayday in conjunction with Sotheby's via silent auction with a minimum bid of $45 million. The auction failed to reach its minimum bid by 25 June 2014, and the viola was not sold.
Stradivarius instruments are at risk of theft. Stolen instruments are often recovered, however, even after being missing for many years. They are difficult to sell illicitly as dealers will typically call the police if approached by a seller with a Stradivarius known to have been stolen. In recent years, the General Kyd Stradivarius was stolen in 2004. It was returned three weeks later by a woman who found it and handed it over to the police. The Sinsheimer/Iselin was stolen in Hanover, Germany in 2008 and recovered in 2009. the Lipinski Stradivarius was stolen in an armed robbery on 27 January 2014 and subsequently recovered. The Ames Stradivarius was stolen in 1981 and recovered in 2015.
Above all, these instruments are famous for the quality of sound they produce. However, the many blind experiments from 1817 to the present (as of 2014) have never found any difference in sound between Stradivari's violins and high-quality violins in comparable style of other makers and periods, nor has acoustic analysis. In a particularly famous test on a BBC Radio 3 programme in 1977, the violinists Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zukerman and the violin expert and dealer Charles Beare tried to distinguish between the "Chaconne" Stradivarius, a 1739 Guarneri del Gesú, an 1846 Vuillaume, and a 1976 British violin played behind a screen by a professional soloist. The two violinists were allowed to play all the instruments first. None of the listeners identified more than two of the four instruments. Two of the listeners identified the 20th-century violin as the Stradivarius. Violinists and others have criticized these tests on various grounds such as that they are not double-blind (in most cases), the judges are often not experts, and the sounds of violins are hard to evaluate objectively and reproducibly.
In a test in 2009, the British violinist Matthew Trusler played his 1711 Stradivarius, said to be worth two million U.S. dollars, and four modern violins made by the Swiss violin-maker Michael Rhonheimer. One of Rhonheimer's violins, made with wood that the Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) researcher Francis Schwarze had treated with fungi, received 90 of the 180 votes for the best tone, while the Stradivarius came second with 39 votes. The majority (113) of the listeners misidentified the winning violin as the Stradivarius.
In a double-blind test in 2012 published in the study "Player preferences among new and old violins", expert players could not distinguish old from new instruments by playing them for a short time in a small room. In an additional test, performed in a concert hall, one of the Stradivarius violins placed first, but one of the participants stated that "the audience in the concert hall were essentially equivocal on which instruments were better in each of the pair-wise instrument comparisons" and "I could tell slight differences in the instruments... but overall they were all great. None of them sounded substantially weaker than the others"  Modern violins were rated as having better sound-carrying qualities and were preferred again in a study in 2017.
While many world-class soloists play violins by Antonio Stradivari, there are notable exceptions. For example, Christian Tetzlaff formerly played "a quite famous Strad", but switched to a violin made in 2002 by Stefan-Peter Greiner. He states that the listener cannot tell that his instrument is modern, and he regards it as excellent for Bach and better than a Stradivarius for "the big Romantic and 20th-century concertos."
Some maintain that the very best Stradivari have unique superiorities. Various attempts at explaining these supposed qualities have been undertaken, most results being unsuccessful or inconclusive. Over the centuries, numerous theories have been presented – and debunked – including an assertion that the wood was salvaged from old cathedrals.
A more modern theory attributes tree growth during a time of global cold temperatures during the Little Ice Age associated with unusually low solar activity of the Maunder Minimum, circa 1645 to 1750, during which cooler temperatures throughout Europe are believed to have caused stunted and slowed tree growth, resulting in unusually dense wood. Further evidence for this "Little Ice Age theory" comes from a simple examination of the dense growth rings in the wood used in Stradivari's instruments. Two researchers – University of Tennessee tree-ring scientist Henri Grissino-Mayer and Lloyd Burckle, a Columbia University climatologist – published their conclusions supporting the theory on increased wood density in the journal Dendrochronologia.
In 2008, researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, announced further evidence that wood density caused the claimed high quality of these instruments. After examining the violins with X-rays, the researchers found that these violins all have extremely consistent density, with relatively low variation in the apparent growth patterns of the trees that produced this wood.
Yet another possible explanation is that the wood was sourced from the forests of northern Croatia. This maple wood is known for its extreme density resulting from the slow growth caused by harsh Croatian winters. Croatian wood was traded by Venetian merchants of the era, and is still used today by local luthiers and craftsfolk for musical instruments.
Some research points to wood preservatives used in that day as contributing to the resonant qualities. Joseph Nagyvary reveals that he has always held the belief that there are a wide range of chemicals that will improve the violin's sound. In a 2009 study co-authored with Renald Guillemette and Clifford Spiegelman, Nagyvary obtained shavings from a Stradivarius violin and examined them, and analysis indicated they contained "borax, fluorides, chromium and iron salts." He also found that the wood had decayed a little, to the extent that the filter plates in the pores between the wood's component tracheids had rotted away, perhaps while the wood was stored in or under water in the Venice lagoon before Stradivarius used it.
Steven Sirr, a radiologist, worked with researchers to perform a CT scan of a Stradivari known as the "Betts." Data regarding the differing densities of woods used were then used to create a reproduction instrument.
While only about 650 original Stradivari instruments (harps, guitars, violas, cellos, violins) survive, thousands of violins have been made in tribute to Stradivari, copying his model and bearing labels that read "Stradivarius" on them. The presence of a Stradivarius label does not confirm that the instrument is a genuine work of Stradivari.
According to a 2019 article in The New York Times, the Museo del Violino in the city of Cremona, Italy is undertaking a landmark project to preserve the sound of Stradivarius instruments. In January 2019, four musicians will record an extensive set of scales and arpeggios in different techniques to showcase the sounds produced by two violins, a viola, and a cello. These recordings, known as the "Stradivarius Sound Bank", will be part of a permanent collection at the Museo del Violino that will allow future generations to hear Stradivarius instruments. To facilitate these recordings, "the city’s mayor, Gianluca Galimberti, implored Cremona’s citizens to avoid any sudden and unnecessary sounds."
[Carlyss] likened the test to trying to compare a Ford and a Ferrari in a Walmart parking lot.
Air and Simple Gifts is a quartet composed and arranged by American composer John Williams for the January 20, 2009, inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States. The first public performance of the piece was in Washington, D.C., immediately prior to Obama taking the oath of office, when musicians Anthony McGill (clarinet), Itzhak Perlman (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and Gabriela Montero (piano) synced their performance to a tape they had recorded two days earlier. It was the first classical quartet to be performed at a presidential inauguration. Obama officially became the President while the piece was being performed, at noon, as the United States Constitution stipulates.Although it appeared that the piece was being performed live, it was in fact mimed while a recording made two days before was fed to the television pool and speakers. Yo-Yo Ma told NPR's All Things Considered that the piano keys had been decoupled from the hammers, and the bows of the stringed instruments had been soaped to silence them. The performers stated that the cold weather could have affected the tuning and durability of the instruments, making a live performance too risky.Williams based the piece on the familiar 19th century Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett. The source piece is famous for its appearance in Aaron Copland's ballet Appalachian Spring. Williams chose the selection from Copland, one of Obama's favorite classical composers.The piece is slightly under 4.5 minutes. It is structured in roughly three parts. The first section presents the "Air" material, consisting of a spare, descending modal melody introduced by violin, pensively explored in duet with cello and piano accompaniment. The entrance of the clarinet, playing the "Simple Gifts" theme, signals the beginning of a small set of variations on that melody. The "Air" melody at first intermingles with the "Gifts" theme, though it is supplanted by increasingly energetic variations. Midway through, the key shifts from A major to D major, in which the piece concludes. A short coda reprising the "Air" material follows the most vigorous of the "Gifts" variations. The piece concludes with an unusual series of cadences, ending with chord progression D-major followed by B-major, G-minor and finally D-major.
Yo-Yo Ma played his Stradivarius cello called the Davidov Stradivarius, made in 1712 during Stradivari's "golden period". Itzhak Perlman played his Stradivarius violin called the Soil Stradivarius, made in 1714 during Stradivari's "golden period". Gabriela Montero played a Steinway concert grand piano, model D-274. Anthony McGill played a Buffet clarinet.Antonio Stradivari
Antonio Stradivari Italian pronunciation: [anˈtɔːnjo stradiˈvaːri]; (1644 – 18 December 1737), also known by "Antonio Stella bottom tile" was an Italian luthier and a crafter of string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas and harps. The Latinized form of his surname, Stradivarius, as well as the colloquial "Strad" are terms often used to refer to his instruments. It is estimated that Stradivari produced 1,116 instruments, 960 of which were violins. Around 650 instruments survived, including 450 to 512 violins.Bauer Type Foundry
The Bauer Type Foundry was a German type foundry founded in 1837 by Johann Christian Bauer in Frankfurt am Main. Noted typeface designers, among them Lucian Bernhard, Konrad Friedrich Bauer (not related to the company's founder), Walter Baum, Heinrich Jost, Imre Reiner, Friedrich Hermann Ernst Schneidler, Emil Rudolf Weiß, and Heinrich Wienyck, designed typefaces for the company.
The company nearly went bankrupt at the end of the 19th century because the company's administration assumed that type founding, rather than typesetting, would be automated. The new owner, Georg Hartmann, succeeded in saving the company. Subsequently, the company grew, also due to several takeovers, e.g. in 1916 by Frankfurt's type foundry Flinsch, itself a global player. In 1927, an office was opened in New York City.
In 1972, all activities of the headquarters in Frankfurt were stopped and transferred to the former subsidiary company, Fundición Tipográfica Neufville in Barcelona, after 1995 to Bauer Types, SL, which still owns the rights to many typefaces. These are distributed by companies like Monotype, Adobe, Paratype, URW++, Elsner & Flake, as well as Neufville Digital for the typeface Futura ND.Bruno Maderna
Bruno Maderna (21 April 1920 – 13 November 1973) was an Italian conductor and composer.Davidov Stradivarius
The Davidov Stradivarius (also: Davidoff or Davydov; Russian: Давыдов), is an antique cello made in 1712 by Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari of Cremona, Italy. It is very similar in construction and form to the equally famed Duport Stradivarius, built a year earlier and played by Mstislav Rostropovich until his death in 2007. The varnish is of a rich orange-red hue, produced with oil color glazes. Its owners have included Carl Davidoff and Jacqueline du Pré, and it is currently used by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.Du Pré Stradivarius
The Du Pré Stradivarius is an antique cello fabricated in 1673 by Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari of Cremona (1644–1737). It has also been known generically as the 1673 Stradivarius, as it is the only cello made by Stradivari in that year.
Recent owners of The 1673 have included the cellists Jacqueline du Pré (1945–1987), Lynn Harrell and Nina Kotova. Harrell purchased the cello from the ailing du Pré in 1984, and has since taken legal steps to have the cello renamed the Jacqueline du Pré Stradivari. The cello is currently being played by István Várdai.While visiting New York, Harrell forgot his cello when leaving a taxicab. The cab driver turned it in, and it was returned unscathed.Edvin Marton
Edvin Marton (born Lajos Edvin Csűry, February 17, 1974, Vylok, Ukraine) is a Ukrainian-born Hungarian composer and violinist. He became known as the violinist of the skaters, mainly because Evgeni Plushenko, Stéphane Lambiel, Yuzuru Hanyu (as a tribute to Plushenko), and other famous skaters often skated to his music.Frank Peter Zimmermann
Frank Peter Zimmermann (born 27 February 1965) is a German violinist.Inditex
Industria de Diseño Textil, S.A. (Inditex; , Spanish: [indiˈteks]; Textile Design Industry) is a Spanish multinational clothing company headquartered in Arteixo (A Coruña) in Galicia.Inditex, the biggest fashion group in the world, operates over 7,200 stores in 93 markets worldwide. The company's flagship store is Zara, but it also owns the chains Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius and Uterqüe. The majority of its stores are corporate-owned, while franchises are mainly conceded in countries where corporate properties cannot be foreign-owned.The company operates a unique business model: instead of committing a large percentage of production for the next fashion season, the company commits a small amount and uses customer feedback and an efficient production network to replenish stores with new and different products weekly. New styles are prototyped in just 5 days and 60% of the manufacturing happens locally to shorten lead-times. In Zara stores, it can take a new garment as little as 15 days to go from design and production to store shelves.Lady Blunt Stradivarius
The Lady Blunt is a Stradivarius violin made in 1721 by the renowned Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari. It is named after one of its first known owners, Lady Anne Blunt, the British co-founder of the Crabbet Arabian Stud.List of Stradivarius instruments
This is a list of Stradivarius instruments made by members of the house of Antonio Stradivari.Messiah Stradivarius
The Messiah - Salabue Stradivarius of 1716 is a violin made by the Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari of Cremona. It is considered to be the only Stradivarius in existence in as new state. It is in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.
The violin, known as the Messiah (Messie in French), remained in Stradivari's workshop until his death in 1737. It was then sold by his son Paolo to Count Cozio di Salabue in 1775, and for a time, the violin bore the name Salabue. The instrument was then purchased by Luigi Tarisio in 1827. Upon Tarisio’s death, in 1854, the French luthier Jean Baptiste Vuillaume of Paris purchased The Messiah along with Tarisio's entire collection. "One day Tarisio was discoursing with Vuillaume on the merits of this unknown and marvelous instrument, when the violinist Jean-Delphin Alard, Vuillaume's son-in-law, exclaimed: 'Really, Mister Tarvisio, your violin is like the Messiah of the Jews: one always expects him but he never appears' ('Vraiment, Monsieur Tarisio, votre violon est comme le Messie des Juifs: on l'attend toujours, mais il ne paraît jamais' ). Thus the violin was baptized with the name by which it is still known."The Messiah was bequeathed by the family of W.E. Hill to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford for preservation as "a yardstick for future violin makers to learn from".The violin is in like-new condition, as it was seldom played. The tonal potential of the instrument has been questioned due to the conditions of the Hill bequest. However it was played by the famous violinist Joseph Joachim, who stated in a letter of 1891 to the then owner of the Messiah, Robert Crawford, that he was struck by the combined sweetness and grandeur of the sound. Nathan Milstein played it at the Hills' shop before 1940 and described it as an unforgettable experience. It is one of the most valuable of all the Stradivari instruments.
The top of the Messiah is made from the same tree as a P.G. Rogeri violin of 1710. The tuning pegs and the tailpiece (that shows the Nativity of Christ) are not original, but were added by Vuillaume.Music of Lombardy
This article is about the Music of Lombardy outside of the city and province of Milan. For that, see the Music of Milan.Besides Milan, the region of Lombardy has 10 other provinces, each named for the largest city and capital of the respective province: Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantova, Pavia, Sondrio, and Varese. Musically, they offer:
Bergamo: the birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti; thus, there is the Teatro Donizetti and the Donizetti Musical Institute, housing a museum dedicated to the life and work of the composer. The city is also the home of the Benvenuto Terzi Guitar Association and a Society for Ancient Music. There is an annual jazz festival in the nearby town of Clusone.
Brescia: the site of the spectacular Teatro Grande, built in 1709; Brescia also hosts the famous Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli International Piano Competition, named for the pianist, born in the city. The Luca Marenzio music conservatory is also located here.
Como: the Teatro Sociale in the city of Como is home to the Lyric Concert Association as well as an opera series entitled Opera...domani (Opera...tomorrow).The city is also an important new venue for the presentation of electronic music.
Cremona: the city is most famously associated with the craft of violin making and illustrious practitioners of that trade, such as the Amati Family, Guarneri Family and Stradivarius. The city is still an active site for aspiring craftsmen and hosts the Stradivarius Scuola internazionale di liuteria, as well as various associations dedicated to the promotion of violin making. Claudio Monteverdi was born in Cremona and was a student of Marc'Antonio Ingegneri.
Lecco: the Harmonia Gentium association promotes significant concerts of sacred music on the premises of the Basilica of San Nicolò. The main theater in the city is the Teatro della Società.
Lodi: the city's claim to musical fame is that a 14-year-old Mozart wrote his first string quartet here. The Teatro delle Vigne is the main venue for music and is on the premises of the ancient monastery of San Giovanni e Ognisanti alle Vigne. It hosts a musical archive and a series of autumn concerts.
Mantua: the city was home to many illustrious names in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the early days of opera. The prominent members of the Florentine Camerata lived here, as did Claudio Monteverdi, whose opera Orfeo, often cited as the "first opera", was composed for the Timidi music academy. The Teatro Accademica goes back to the 1760s, when Mantua was still part of the Austrian Empire. It was built at the behest of the Empress Maria Theresa and is remembered as the venue where the child prodigy Mozart displayed his youthful musical prowess in a series of recitals. Mantua is also the site of the Lucio Campinai music conservatory, home to the Chamber Orchestra of Mantua.
Pavia: the Teatro Fraschini was opened in 1773, later went through a period when it served as a barracks for the Austrian army, and was later restored to its historic splendour. Currently it is the home venue of the Pavia Chamber Ensemble.
Sondrio: the Villa Quadrio serves as the site for chamber concerts (in the absence of a functioning public theater). The Torelli auditorium hosts frequent concerts of folk choral music by the CAI Choir of Sandrio.
Varese: Venues include the Palazzo Estense, the Villa Cagnola, and the Civic Music Highschool. In nearby Busto Arsizio, there is a permanent chamber music ensemble.Paganini Quartet
The Paganini Quartet was a virtuoso string quartet founded by its first violinist, Henri Temianka, in 1946. The quartet drew its name from the fact that all four of its instruments, made by Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737), had once been owned by the great Italian violinist and composer Niccolo Paganini (1782–1840).Stradivarius (The Walking Dead)
"Stradivarius" is the seventh episode of the ninth season of the post-apocalyptic horror television series The Walking Dead, which aired on AMC on November 18, 2018.Stradivarius (clothing brand)
Stradivarius (Spanish: [estɾaðiˈβaɾjus], Catalan: [estɾaðiˈvaɾjus]) is an international women and men clothing fashion brand from Spain owned by the Inditex group.Stradivarius (horse)
Stradivarius (foaled 28 February 2014) is an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. After winning one minor race as a two year old he emerged as a top-class stayer in the following year, winning the Queen's Vase and Goodwood Cup as well as finishing a close third in the St Leger. As a four-year-old he won the Yorkshire Cup, Ascot Gold Cup, a second Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup, securing a £1 million bonus for winning all four races, and ended the year by winning the British Champions Long Distance Cup.The Chosen Ones (Stratovarius album)
The Chosen Ones is a compilation album by the Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. It is an official compilation album released by Noise Records after Stratovarius changed labels and signed with Nuclear Blast.Vincent Bach Corporation
The Vincent Bach Corporation is an American manufacturer of brass musical instruments that began early in the twentieth century and still exists as a subsidiary of Conn-Selmer, a division of Steinway Musical Instruments. The company was founded in 1918 by Austrian-born trumpeter Vinzenz Schrottenbach (Vincent Bach).
and genres of music