I am fascinated by sound, I have always been. For me a violin or a bow doesn’t just have to work, it also has to inspire, to invite me and my imagination into a sonic world in its own right. For this reason I try to stay close to talented living makers or to the work of past masters.
Recently I had the chance to visit yet again a friend who’s generosity of sharing his treasures is beyond words and got to step into a marvelous musical world. Basically I created and attended a private little party between my hands, my imagination, a wonderful Golden Period Stradivari violin, a wonderful late Guarneri Del Gesu violin, a Tourte and a Voirin...
I know you all wonder which is the best, which is the greatest, which I’m in love with… and the answer is that they’re all good and great. I feel fortunate to have been able to play them and you can make your own thoughts and opinions on which you find the best and greatest.
Violin selection is matter of personal preference, technical level, the colors and textures one feels or hears in his mind. Among other things I look for quick and easy response, a certain sensitivity under my fingers. We should also pay attention to the right hand since it offers such important feedback. The bow is what makes a violin sound. Without it there is pizzicato or silence. The idea is to achieve expressivity and fluidity with the greatest ease. Each string should have its own character, building blocks of one’s own private musical world. I’m drawn to recordings of masters from the past with their warm personal sound which is in stark contrast with the sound of contemporary artists. Being able to play soft is maybe more important than playing loud. I think one needs to achieve contrasts effortlessly, quickly and beautifully.
I hope these sounds peaked your interest as much as they did mine. There is a gem in every violin out there and with the right approach (technique, strings, tonal adjustments and the right bow) one can find great joy in creating and exploring his own personal musical world…
Bach - Sonata for Violin Solo No. 2, Grave played on a Stradivari violin
Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto solo Excerpt played on a Stradivari violin
Paganini - Caprice No.21 played on a Guarneri del Gesu violin
Enescu - Impressions D'enfance, Le Menetrier played on a Guarneri del Gesu violin