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The Glory of Cremona

The Glory of Cremona - Antonio Stradivari, Stradivarius, Guarneri, Amati...
"The Glory of Cremona"
gives anybody a possibility to touch the most difficult to catch area - violin sound. That's exceptional CD, giving us a possibility to listen sound of 15 best ever created violins, recorded in identical conditions.

Cremona is the place where violin, as we know it, started almost 500 years ago. Violin making art and craft there reached highest possible point, so all violin makers are trying to approach results of those creators. Some of them are more successful, some not. We are in that crowd.

Why violin sound is so important?

Any art or craft requires at least some benchmarks. Among those in the area of violin creating ideal violin sound is the most enigmatic, thus the most difficult to deal with. Even a so famous Stradivarius violin sound phenomenon can not be easily understood or even explained.? So . . .

The Glory of Cremona

More than 400 years ago, during the time of Raphael, Titian and Michelangelo, the genius of the Italian Renaissance gave to the world a new family of musical voices - the violin, the viola and the cello. With the demand for a stronger, more dynamic string tone many now - forgotten instruments were no doubt made, but it was Andrea Amati of Cremona who created a design of such perfection that only minor changes of model and tonal refinements have since been made. Andrea was the creator of the violin we know today.

He was born in about the year 1510, and by 1538 was able to lease and later buy the house in Cremona in which, for 200 years, he and the succeeding generations of Amatis joyfully gave to the world many of its greatest instruments. And it was in this house that the great violin makers, among them Antonio Stradivari, learned their trade . . .

. . . The violin did not achieve immediate acceptance nor wide popularity, but by the year 1560 Andrea Amati, then well established, received an order from the Court of France for an entire set of instruments, (the famous 24 violins of the King). These were made for Charles IX and one of this set, a remarkably perfect instrument, is heard on the recording.

By the year 1630 a new generation of Amatis, and particularly Antonio and Girolamo, had been born, learned their craft, carried it to even further perfection, and died in the house of Amatis. In that year a great plague swept over Italy and many towns were reduced to less than half their population. The Amati brothers, as well as the Giovanni Paolo and Maggini, Gasparo's successor in Brescia, perished. By great fortune a member of the third generation of the Amatis, Nicola, survived and had already been trained in the now traditional art of violin making. By then, the demand for these instruments had become greater than the supply and Nicola looked about for young men of talent to learn the trade. Among them were Andrea Guarneri, the founder of a new dynasty of violin makers, Francisco Ruggieri, Nicola's son, Girolamo, and the immortal Antonio Stradivari. The violins of Cremona had already spread to many cities of Europe and other craftsmen in France, England, the Low Countries, Germany and Austria started to reproduce, within the limits of their ability, these now famous instruments.

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At last I have my ideal violin. I turned down 14 instruments which came from all around the country, including an original cremonese violin, which I just couldn't convince myself to like. However I had no second thoughts about my new violin, made by Czes and Birute Kul, and instantly knew this was the one. The violin has very clean articulation and a sweet tone, also
projecting well. I have had many compliments about it. A lot of careful workmanship has obviously gone into the violin, which is very elegant and distinctive in looks. Before you look anywhere else, I strongly recomend Czes and Birute. It could save a lot of trouble, time and money.

Sarah K., Wellington

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