I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

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Ramon Amira
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I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Ramon Amira » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:56 am

This is true! I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin. Well, "played" might be stretching it a bit. I did run the bow over the strings if that constitutes playing it. The luthier/repairer in whose charge it was who let me play it said I sounded worse than a chicken screeching. Philistine! Any fair minded listener would agree with me that my playing sounded BETTER than a chicken screeching.

Anyway I handed it back as quickly as I could. I had visions of me nervously dropping it and smashing it into a thousand pieces, and the luthier smashing ME into a thousand pieces.

Well, how many non-violinists, or even violinists, can say they played a five million dollar Strad. It even - as I guess most surviving Strads do - had a name, but I can't recall what it was.

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Peter Lovett
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Peter Lovett » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:00 am

A few years ago I went to listen to a recital by the Tokyo String Quartet who were on their farewell tour of Australia. All of their instruments were Stradivarius - I dread to think of the collective value on the stage that night but the playing was sublime, especially the Beethoven string quartet #14 Op. 131. Bliss.
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Cincy2 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:28 am

In situations like this, the best part for me would have been making the physical connection with the Master. You touched the same wood Stradivarius labored over. Great experience.
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Ramon Amira
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Ramon Amira » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:44 pm

Cincy2 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:28 am
In situations like this, the best part for me would have been making the physical connection with the Master. You touched the same wood Stradivarius labored over. Great experience.
Yes, of course. All joking aside it was a profound experience to feel momentarily a connection to such a monumental part of the history of music.

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MessyTendon
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by MessyTendon » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:01 pm

Bah!...everybody knows Guarneri is a real mans instrument.

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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:48 pm

The most expensive instrument I ever played was a Hauser I. The best instrument I ever played was a Jeff Elliott. Both were owned by the same guy. I will never be able to afford anything that good. However the experience did confirm that I like my Ramirez just fine, and actually preferred the tone to one of the aforementioned guitars..
Cough...cough...it’s name begins with H. I know, sacrilige right?

But five million? I would be afraid to even touch it.

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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Tom » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:53 pm

Personally I like Guarneri over Stradivarius.

Ramon Amira
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Ramon Amira » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:47 pm

Tom wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:53 pm
Personally I like Guarneri over Stradivarius.
As soon as I get to play a Guarneri I'll give you all a comparison report.

Ramon
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ddray
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by ddray » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:51 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:47 pm
Tom wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:53 pm
Personally I like Guarneri over Stradivarius.
As soon as I get to play a Guarneri I'll give you all a comparison report.

Ramon
Guarneri, Stradivarius, all out of reach for me :D The price aside, it would be quite an experience just to hold it thinking, "if this old thing could only talk, I'll bet it could tell some interesting stories..." Congratulations on having the experience...not only holding it, but actually drawing a bow across it.

Euan Hannah
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Euan Hannah » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:00 pm

:lol: THat's it, the luthier is getting sacked, he assured me that nobody would be allowed to play my fiddle :lol:

Andrew Pohlman
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:00 pm

I have played the Ruck made for Rey de la Torre. The owner, one of del Torre's proteges, has received multiple offers of 30K+. But it is his performance instrument, so no sale. I know many here have said a Ruck is not worth that much ... but the offers were real and represent what the rich dudes in the SF Bay Area market are willing to pay. Nonetheless, I played a piece of history.

But the Strad story sounds much cooler. I mean, Ruck is still alive... :D
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larryguitar
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by larryguitar » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:48 am

I knew a violin dealer who traveled with two Guarneris in a double violin case that was handcuffed to his wrist. The violins were worth millions then, much more now. He said he sweated bullets the whole time he had them in his possession.

When I studied violin, one of my fellow students was driving to a car dealership to buy a brand new BMW, for perhaps $30k back then. On his way. he turned around and went to a violin dealer where he spent the $30k on a fine Italian violin he had had his eye on. I'm sure the BMW is in a junkyard now, and the fine Italian violin is worth multiples of what he paid for it.
Last edited by larryguitar on Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

astro64
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by astro64 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:06 am

Richard Brune is very generous in allowing people to play the guitars they display at the GFA. So I had a chance to play a 1888 Torres, a 1931 Hauser, a 1959 Hernandez y Aguado, a 1960's Bouchet, as well as their own fine guitars. Not long enough or in a quiet enough environment to make much of an assessment, but neat anyway.

PS I did get to hold (not play) a Strad once, a local musician owned it and played it in the symphony.

Peter Corey
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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Peter Corey » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:34 am

ddray wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:51 pm
Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:47 pm
Tom wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:53 pm
Personally I like Guarneri over Stradivarius.
As soon as I get to play a Guarneri I'll give you all a comparison report.

Ramon
Guarneri, Stradivarius, all out of reach for me :D The price aside, it would be quite an experience just to hold it thinking, "if this old thing could only talk, I'll bet it could tell some interesting stories..." Congratulations on having the experience...not only holding it, but actually drawing a bow across it.
Most performers on those instruments can't afford them either. They are usually given to them on long-term loan by personal benefactors or (in the case of players like David Oistrakh and Leonid Kogan) the government. Some players who insist on owning the instrument have to secure large loans from banks or other sources to make the purchase.

Violinist Aaron Rosand owned a magnificent Guarneri del Gesu that he was able to purchase many decades ago. He sold it upon his retirement several years ago to a Russian businessman for $10 million. He donated $1.5 million to the Curtis Institute of Music (where he had studied with Efrem Zimbalist, and where he himself had taught) in Philadelphia.

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Re: I played a five million dollar Stradivarius violin!

Post by Tubbers » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:48 am

Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:47 pm
As soon as I get to play a Guarneri I'll give you all a comparison report.
Ramon
Probably not as screechy. :)
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