Mt. Carmel St. Cristina Society

The Stradivari Violin

Did you know...

Where the most famous violin comes from? Cremona in Lombardy. Cremona became the violin capital of the world. In the 1500's Andrea Amati and his sons developed the first violin together with two students Antonio Stradivari and Guiseppe Guarneri. Those master violin makers accomplished a musical miracle and for centuries students and scientists tried to figure out how they build such magnificent instruments.

It was no secret that the density of the wood came from the wood of red spruce. But not all red spruce are music trees. They best ones are straight and round with a few leaves. The woodcutter first strips away the bark then he will hit the tree with a heavy hammer and listen to its vibrations. If the vibrations are strong the tree is cut down.

Stradivari only used wood from the male red spruce located in the northern province of Trento. He also insisted to cut the trees in the winter under the moon when their sap was not running and before he put the final coat of varnish to the violin, he took it home and put it on the table next to his bed for a couple of weeks. By keeping the violin close to him he believed that a spiritual transaction took place between him and the instrument and that the violin would inherit a soul! When Stradivari died in 1737 at the age of 93, he had made more than 1,100 string instruments, including harps, guitars, violas, cellos, and violins and three centuries later 650 of them still survive. Guarneri died seven years later at the age of 46.

There are 12 most expensive violins in the world, 11 of them were made by them – 5 from Stradiveri and 6 from Guarneri. The most expensive violin in the world is the Stradivarius model named "the Messiah" whose value is estimated at $20 million. As for the one violin to make the list was from the French violinist Renaud Capucon, but the difference between the sound of the two cannot be matched.

Maybe Stradivari was right: maybe those violins did, in fact, inherit a soul!!!