Friday, July 9, 2010

Custom Violins

I will soon be ordering a custom violin - my very first. It will be a replica of the Paganini Cannone. I am not yet at liberty to disclose the maker but in time I will. I expect it will be a fabulous violin. It will not play itself of course, but playing Mozart and Beethoven on it will be that much more pleasurable. Perhaps Prokofiev and Poulenc as well.
I have long believed that 60% of the sound of any violin comes from the player - the violinist's bow arm. The rest comes from the instrument. If you don't believe me, go hear a concert by the San Francisco Symphony. The current concertmaster is playing Heifetz' Strad. I think it's the Dolphin. It does not sound the way it did when Heifetz had it. It has nothing to do with the technique because Barantschik is a great player. It is all bow arm and that comes from intuition. A great violin however, makes it that much easier to get the sound out - your sound.

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