Stradivari

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Antonio Stradivari examining an instrument, in a Romantic 19th-century print.
Antonio Stradivari (1644December 18, 1737) was an Italian luthier, a crafter of stringed instruments such as violins, cello, guitars and harps. Stradivari is generally considered the most significant artisan in this field. The Latinized form of his surname, Stradivarius, as well as the colloquial, "Strad", is often used to refer to his instruments.

Biography

Antonio Stradivari is believed to have been born in the year 1644, although his exact birth date is not documented. He was born in Italy to Alessandro Stradivari and Anna née Moroni. It is possible that in the years 1667 through 1679 he served as a pupil in workshops of Nicolò Amati, though there is much evidence to dispute this fact.

In 1680 Stradivari settled himself in the Piazza San Domenico, Cremona, and his fame as an instrument-maker was soon established thereafter. His originality began to show through his alterations of Amati's models. The arching was changed, the various degrees of thickness in the wood were more exactly determined, the formation of the scroll was altered, and the varnish was more highly coloured. His instruments are recognized by a characteristic inscription in Latin: Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno [date] (This was made by Antonio Stradivari of Cremona, in the year...). It is generally acknowledged that his finest instruments were manufactured from 1698 to 1725 (peaking around 1715), exceeding in quality to those manufactured between 1725 and 1730. After 1730, some of the instruments are signed Sotto la Desciplina d'Antonio Stradivari F. in Cremona [date] and were probably made by his sons, Omobono and Francesco.

Apart from violins, Stradivari also made guitars, violas, cellos, and at least one harp — more than 1,100 instruments in all, by current estimates. Approximately 650 of these instruments survive today.

Antonio Stradivari died in Cremona, Italy on December 18, 1737 and was buried in the Basilica of San Domenico, in Cremona. The church was demolished in 1868, at which time Stradivari's remains were unidentifiable.

Stradivarius instruments

Main article: Stradivarius
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Stradivarius Palacio Real, Madrid
Stradivari's instruments are regarded as amongst the finest stringed instruments ever created, are highly prized, and still played by professionals today. Only one other maker, Joseph Guarneri del Gesù, commands the same respect among violinists. Fashions in music, as in other things, have changed over the centuries, and the accepted supremacy of Stradivari's and del Gesù's instruments is only true today. In the past, instruments by Nicolò Amati and Jacob Stainer were preferred for their subtle sweetness of tone.

On May 16, 2006, Christie's auctioned a Stradivarius called The Hammer for a record US $3,544,000. It is the most paid at public auction for any musical instrument.[1] It was purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder. The previous record price paid at a public auction for a Stradivarius was US $2,032,000 for the "Lady Tennant" at Christie's in New York, April 2005.[2] On April 2, 2007 Christie's sold a Stradivari violin for more than US $2.7 million, well above its estimate. The 1729 instrument, known as the Solomon, Ex-Lambert, went to an anonymous bidder in the auction house's fine musical instruments sale. Its price, US $2,728,000 including the Christie's commission, far outdid its estimated value: US $1 million to US $1.5 million.[3] Private sales are often more accurate examples.

Other famous Stradivarius instruments are the Davidov Stradivarius, a cello currently owned and played by Yo-Yo Ma, and the Duport Stradivarius cello owned by Mstislav Rostropovich until his death in 2007. The Soil of 1714 is owned by virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, and many consider it among the finest of all Stradivari. The Countess Polignac is currently played by Gil Shaham. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra uses several Stradivarius instruments that were purchased by the Österreichische Nationalbank (Austrian National Bank) and other sponsors: Chaconne, 1725; ex-Hämmerle, 1709; ex-Smith-Quersin, 1714; ex-Arnold Rose, ex-Viotti, 1718; and ex-Halphen, 1727.

The usual label for a Stradivarius instrument, whether genuine or false, uses the Latin inscription Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno [date]. This inscription indicates the maker, the town (Cremona), and "made in the year," followed by a date that is either printed or handwritten. Due to the McKinnley Tariff Act of 1891, copies made after that year may also have a country of origin printed in English at the bottom of the label, such as "Germany." After a revision of the tariff in 1914, imported copies read "made in" followed by the country of origin. Since thousands of instruments are based on Stradivari's models and bear the same name as his models, many unwary people are deceived into purchasing forged Stradivarius instruments, although this can be avoided by having an instrument authenticated.

The world's two largest publicly accessible collections of Stradivari instruments belong to the Agency of National Estates of Spain, consisting of two violins, two cellos, and a viola, exhibited in the Music Museum at the Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace), and the U.S. Library of Congress' collection of three violins, a viola, and a cello. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra had the largest number of Stradivari in its string section, purchased in 2003 from the collection of Herbert R. Axelrod, until it recently decided to sell them off. The Vienna Philharmonic uses four violins and one cello. The University of South Dakota, in Vermillion, South Dakota, has in its collection one of two known Stradivari guitars, one of eleven known viola de gambas, later modified into a cello form, one of two known choral mandolins, and one of six Stradivari violins that still retain their original neck. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England has on display a Stradivarius violin and a Stradivarius guitar.

See also

References

1. ^ "Stradivarius tops auction record", BBC News, 17 May 2006. Retrieved on 2007-04-07. 
2. ^ Julie Carlson (May 2005). Strad Mad. Artfact. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.
3. ^ Associate Press. "Stradivari violin goes for $2.7M", Yahoo! News, Apr 2007. Retrieved on 2007-04-07. 

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luthier (IPA: /ˈljuːtiɚ/) is someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments. The word luthier comes from the French word for lute, "luth".
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A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones.
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The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and
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Stradivarius is a stringed instrument built by members of the Stradivari family, especially by Antonio Stradivari.

Antonio Stradivari, was born in Italy in 1644. He was a disciple of Nicolo Amati, of the Amati family of violin makers of Cremona.
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maiden name is the family name carried by a woman before marriage. A maiden name is sometimes indicated using the word "née" (pronounced "nay", IPA: /ˈneɪ/), from the French word for "born", e.g.
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Moroni family (Sometimes "Morone") was a moderately powerful noble family in Italy. Their Baroque Palazzo Moroni in Bergamo is a tourist attraction.

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Nicolò Amati (1596 - April 12 1684) was an Italian luthier from Cremona, a member of the Amati family.

The founder of the Cremona school was Andrea Amati (c.1520–c.1578), whose earliest violins date from c. 1564.
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The guitar is a musical instrument with ancient roots that is used in a wide variety of musical styles. It typically has six strings, but four, seven, eight, ten, and twelve string guitars also exist.
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The viola (French, alto; German Bratsche) is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the upper lines played by the violin and the lower lines played by the cello.
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violoncello, usually abbreviated to cello, or 'cello (the c is pronounced [tʃ] as in the ch of "check"), is a bowed stringed instrument, a member of the violin family.
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The harp is a stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. All harps have a neck, resonator and strings. Some, known as frame harps, also have a forepillar; those lacking the forepillar are referred to as
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Country Italy
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Stradivarius is a stringed instrument built by members of the Stradivari family, especially by Antonio Stradivari.

Antonio Stradivari, was born in Italy in 1644. He was a disciple of Nicolo Amati, of the Amati family of violin makers of Cremona.
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Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (August 21, 1698 – October 17, 1744), anglicised to Joseph Guarneri, is the only luthier to rival Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) with regard to the respect and reverence accorded his instruments, and has been called the finest violin maker of
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Nicolò Amati (1596 - April 12 1684) was an Italian luthier from Cremona, a member of the Amati family.

The founder of the Cremona school was Andrea Amati (c.1520–c.1578), whose earliest violins date from c. 1564.
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Jacob Stainer (c. 1617-1683) was the earliest and best known Austrian luthier.

Stainer was born in Absam, Austria, into a family of stringed instrument makers. His designs influenced instrument construction in Germany, parts of Italy and several other countries.
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Christie's is a fine art auction house. It was founded in London, England on 5 December 1766 by James Christie.
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The Hammer Stradivarius is an antique violin made by Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) of Cremona. The back measures 28 cm (14 in), inside bearing the label: "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis/Faciebat Anno 1707.
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The Lady Tennant is an antique violin made by the Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari of Cremona in 1699, a year before Stradivari's 'golden' period.

On April 22 2005, the Lady Tennant sold for a record US$2,032,000 at Christie's auction house in New York and was presented on
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