Professional violin repairers, restorers and experts have always needed a great technical and historical understanding of the instruments they work on and of the right techniques. With more of the secrets of the construction of famous, old, and fine violins being uncovered the value of the violin restorer’s art is gaining importance and recognition.
Studies by Marco Malagodi from the Università degli Studi di Pavia and by Joseph Nagyvary in Switzerland have both been the subject of recent media and music world attention due to their discoveries adding new elements to our knowledge of how Antonio Stradivari violins were made.
For example some of the discoveries made in these studies include the information about the materials and decoration used such as ancient techniques of wood colouring, the use of wood that had been stored in water before carving, and the use of wood that that had been (probably deliberately) protected from any bug infestation.
Although these and other similar types of studies over the years have attempted to learn more about what made Antonio Stradivari’s violins so special, different and distinctive they haven’t taken anything away from the ‘value’ of the instruments, musically, historically and financially.
The fact is however that these and other fine violins are now hundreds of years old, and besides the new discoveries helping to increase the chances of us being able to manufacture a violin that sounds and behaves more like a Stradivarius, it also helps to highlight the importance and relevance of the violin restorer and repairer’s job.
The skill, care, and growing bank of knowledge needed to preserve and keep fine old violins in a condition where we are all able to appreciate their unique sound qualities cannot be underestimated. Behind every great player and investor there is often a great craftsman and technician.
Gary Bridgewood of renowned London fine stringed instrument dealers, repairers and restorers Bridgewood & Neitzert explains more about the value of a good professional violin restoration and repairs service:
“The fact that people are still conducting studies on very old, fine violins such as those by Antonio Stradivari some 250 years after they were made to understand more about the construction techniques helps to illustrate the complexity of the repairer / restorer’s job when it comes to maintaining them.
We have a fully equipped workshop here in Stoke Newington where we’re able to carry out all kinds of repairs and restoration work. The age, quality and value of many of violins that we’re trusted with means that our staff have to be expert and experienced craftsmen – which they are. They need to be able to carry out a huge range of repairs and restorations on a wide variety of stringed instruments, not just violins. For example we also repair and restore violas, cellos, basses and bows, and early and period instruments including lutes, viols and viola d’amores. This is a highly skilled job that has great importance in protecting our common musical heritage”.
We also renovate instruments we have in stock before they are sold through the shop”.
For more information call Gary Bridgewood on 020 7249 9398 or visit http://www.vivaceviolin.com/
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