singing violin - fine soloist violins in Kul Violins studio

Stradivarius violin maker

Present situation

"To evoke the wonders of what transpires when a bow touches the strings of a Stradivarius violin, musicians speak of the sound and tone in terms of light and dark; of color, texture, and emotion; of electricity, taste and temperament. And they speak of magic and mystery--especially mystery--for of Antonius Stradivarius and his instruments, much remains unknown."

Musicians say

"There's a very good analogy between, say, a Stradivarius violin and a fine Cuban cigar, as opposed to an ordinary violin and an ordinary cigar," observes Earl Carlyss, head of chamber music at The Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore for the past nine years, and for 20 years before that a member of New York's Juilliard String Quartet and a frequent player of Stradivarius violins.

That's description of what musicians usually say about Stradivarius violin sound. That are some experts from a wonderful article by Neil Grauer "Heavenly Strings", written in 1995.

Reality check

Neil Grauer proceeds:

"Wealthy amateurs and collectors may own more Strads than professional performers. In 1981, an anonymous private collector in Singapore paid $1.2 million for the magnificent "Alard" Stradivarius, named for its most famous owner, Jean-Delphin Alard, a distinguished French violinist of the nineteenth century. Since the approximate weight of a violin is just a pound, that collector spent about $75,000 an ounce for his prize. He probably could quadruple his money if he put the Alard up for sale today. Most concert performers cannot afford a Stradivarius and must rely on the kindness of strangers--or more precisely, generous patrons of the arts or large corporations--for the privilege of playing them. Midori, the Japanese prodigy, has played a famous Strad known as The Jupiter, courtesy of the Fuji film and camera company, which paid $3.5 million for it a few years ago and loans it to her. If Fuji ever decided to sell "The Jupiter," it probably would fetch $4.5 to $5 million."

That is a present times situation. Question remains - why? There are different explanations for this phenomenon, and probably the most important among them :

No doubt, there are more reasons for extremely high market value of Stradivarius violins, but, to my mind, all of them can not completely explain this extreme 'feather'.

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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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