The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30334 Message #4029146
Posted By: Joe Offer
19-Jan-20 - 08:40 PM
Thread Name: What's a Strad, Amati etc fiddle?
Subject: RE: What's a Strad, Amati etc fiddle?
Studying a little further, I gather that our cellist's instrument is the only known copy of the “Servais” Stradivarius by Vuillaume ca. 1865. Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798–1875) was a French luthier whose workshop built over 30,000 instruments - and he built over 3,000 instruments himself over a lifetime.
His Wikipedia article says:
Vuillaume was an innovative violin maker and restorer, and a tradesman who traveled all of Europe in search of instruments. Due to this fact, most instruments by the great Italian violin makers passed through his workshop. Vuillaume then made accurate measurements of their dimensions and made copies of them.
He drew his inspiration from two violin makers and their instruments: Antonio Stradivari and his "Le Messie" (Messiah), and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù and his "Il Cannone" which belonged to Niccolò Paganini; others such as Maggini, Da Salò and Nicola Amati were also imitated, but to a lesser extent....
When making these copies, Vuillaume always remained faithful to the essential qualities of the instruments he imitated – their thickness, the choice of the woods, and the shape of the arching. The only differences, always the result of a personal decision, were the colour of the varnish, the height of the ribs or the length of the instruments.
His most beautiful violins were often named after the people who owned them (Caraman de Chimay, Cheremetoff, Doria)[
So, the Vuillaume instruments were copies, not forgeries - and they were fine instruments, indeed. The cello was extraordinary last night - deep, rich tones on the low notes and unbelievably clear on the high notes.
Can't say I really liked the Dvorak cello concerto all that much, but it was a good way to show of the cellist and his instrument. I suppose those are two major purposes of concertos. But give me a symphony any old time.