Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

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David Norton
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Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by David Norton » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:24 am

Here's something I was unaware of.

In Florence, there were two brothers who made violins, cellos, etc. Lorenzo and Tomaso Carcassi. No exact birth/death dates that I can find on either man, but their instruments are dated 1750 to 1780 or thereabouts. Their instruments are well regarded to this day, and while certainly not in the same league as a Cremona "golden era" instrument, Carcassi string instruments seem to fetch a hefty selling price when they come onto the market.

Matteo was born in Florence in 1792. So it seems quite possible that he'd be related to the violin making family. Does anyone have any other info here?
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segobreawill
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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by segobreawill » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:53 am

This is very interesting, David! A brief check on Wikipedia didn't draw any connections, nor looking at the family tree provided on tarisio.com. It would be nice if we could know if there was a connection there. :)

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Frank Nordberg
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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by Frank Nordberg » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:56 pm

It's an interesting idea. The Carcassi family is Lombardic, not Tuscan and it doesn't seem to have been a very common name - apparently there are only about 300 Carcassis in the world today. So all things considered, it's very likely Matteo was a descnedant of one of the violin maker brothers. He may have been a grandson but more likely great-grandson or great-great-grandson.

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David Norton
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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by David Norton » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:38 am

Here's something from the GERMAN Wikipedia, on the Carcassi family. In translation (it translates with awkward phrasing, granted), we find there was a "Matteo Carcassi" who was making guitars in 1709 according to some document, which is 83 years before the birth of our man "Matteo the composer". Certainly it's not at all far-fetched that Matteo-1792 was named after his ancestor, possibly was given a guitar made by Matteo-1709, and took to it successfully.

Carcassis.jpg

Here is the link, for those who read German:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcassi

Wonder how we could get more definitive information?
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joachim33
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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by joachim33 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:03 am

The German article explicitly mentions that Matteo the composer might be part of that family. It quotes:

Mauro Mariottini: Matteo Carcassi (1793? – 1853): Un aggiornamento bio-bibliografico. in: Il Fronimo, n° 108 (1999). S. 31

As a reference for this. In general the Wikipedia article claims that most knowledge on that family has been obtained from instrument labels. How the members are related is not known to the author(s) of the Wikipedia article.

Perhaps church records would reveal more on that, but that would involve effort.

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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:51 am

Well, I can say for certain that he had a fondness for relative minors...

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Frank Nordberg
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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by Frank Nordberg » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 pm

David Norton wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:38 am
Here's something from the GERMAN Wikipedia, on the Carcassi family. In translation (it translates with awkward phrasing, granted), we find there was a "Matteo Carcassi" who was making guitars in 1709 according to some document, which is 83 years before the birth of our man "Matteo the composer".
Wow, I didn't expect that! I knew about Tomasso and Lorenzo but all the others are new to me.
Certainly it's not at all far-fetched that Matteo-1792 was named after his ancestor, possibly was given a guitar made by Matteo-1709, and took to it successfully.
More likely an instrument by a later Carcassi. Yes, they are all listed as "violin makers" but that doesn't mean they didn't make guitars too. The specialisation on specific instruments common among current luthiers is fairly modern and wasn't common back then.

I found some more info at amati.com (links below). Most interesting perhaps are Vincenzo and Salvatore Carcassi, sons and successors of Tomaso and about the right age to be Matteo's father.

Amati.com articles:
https://www.amati.com/en/maker/carcassi ... and-tomaso
https://www.amati.com/en/maker/carcassi-giovanni-i
https://www.amati.com/en/maker/carcassi-vincenzo
https://www.amati.com/en/maker/carcassi-salvatore
https://www.amati.com/en/maker/carcassi-giovanni-ii
https://www.amati.com/en/maker/carcassi-francesco
https://www.amati.com/en/maker/carcassi-antonio-felice

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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by sxedio » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:44 pm

Frank Nordberg wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 pm
David Norton wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:38 am
Here's something from the GERMAN Wikipedia, on the Carcassi family. In translation (it translates with awkward phrasing, granted), we find there was a "Matteo Carcassi" who was making guitars in 1709 according to some document, which is 83 years before the birth of our man "Matteo the composer".
Wow, I didn't expect that! I knew about Tomasso and Lorenzo but all the others are new to me.
Certainly it's not at all far-fetched that Matteo-1792 was named after his ancestor, possibly was given a guitar made by Matteo-1709, and took to it successfully.
More likely an instrument by a later Carcassi. Yes, they are all listed as "violin makers" but that doesn't mean they didn't make guitars too. The specialisation on specific instruments common among current luthiers is fairly modern and wasn't common back then.
I seem to remember that in Germany guitars were made by cabinet makers, their disagreements with the guild of violin makers are cited as influencing Martin’s decision to move to America.

Thanks for the information on the Carcassi family
(Gr) (En) (very little Fr)

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Frank Nordberg
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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by Frank Nordberg » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:25 am

sxedio wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:44 pm
I seem to remember that in Germany guitars were made by cabinet makers, their disagreements with the guild of violin makers are cited as influencing Martin’s decision to move to America.
I'm not sure if that's exactly the right story. It's possible this was just a conflict between Martin and the violin maker guild and not a general disagreement between guilds although there seems to have been a similar case with Georg Daniel Schöne a generation or two earlier.

Martin was a member of the cabinet maker guild because his father was a cabinet maker and he couldn't simply join the violin maker guild since he had studied abroad and not under a regocnised German master.

There certainly were German violin makers who also made guitars (or at least pucked string instruments) before and during that time. Joachim Tielke, Martin Griesser, the Heberlein brothers, Rudolf Höss, Zacharie Fischer, Andreas Ernst Kram, M. Bochem, Brinckmann, Joseph Fichtl, Albert Olert, Jacob Heinrich Goldt, Jacob August Otto and Max Amberger are some names I can think of.

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sxedio
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Re: Matteo Carcassi's relatives (?)

Post by sxedio » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:38 am

Thanks for your clarification, and in any case guild politics could be very different in Italy, after all it was not a unified country yet
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