Home to Violins and Cellos

October 22, 2008 / Local Interest
Cremona
In Cremona, Stradavari is known to have made the finest violins in history. Italian violinmakers of the 17th and 18th centuries had workshops here, and used nearby forests of the Italian Alps for spruce wood.

Stradivarius instruments seem to have been made by something special, and for more than 250 years people have tried to discover his secret. According to the violin virtuoso Paganini, Stradavari “used only the woods on which nightingales sang.”

We visit two of the town’s 50 violin makers, who keep up his traditional methods and continue to search for the ellusive Strad ingredient. Odin Bykle and Loeiz Honore make their violins and cellos in a studio at the back of a house on a side street.

Inside Loeiz’s workshop, we are shown a just-finished cello. Crafted by Loeiz, Pete is asked if he’d like to play it. Only later do we realize that the cello has never been played before.

Amazingly, these craft people do not play their instruments. Each person’s instruments have their own unique sound. Odin tells us that it is always a thrill to hear someone play an instrument that he has made.

Pete sits and plays for us, and then he stops. “This cello is too much for me,” he compliments the maker. The sound is huge, and we imagine it will be sold to some symphony player.

It is a dream to imagine owning a cello like this, and with a price tag of over €20,000, it certainly is a dream. But it was a joy to play and a great experience for all of us.

Warm regards to Evanne and her family for this lovely note.

Evanne Brandon-Diner

by Evanne Brandon-Diner

Chronicler of local village life in Northern Lazio, and property restoration and purchasing consultant. www.lavventuraitalia.com

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