An interesting Article about....Violins!?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I thought I would post up a link to an interesting article I read today about the science of sound and Stradivarius violins.

    While this is not meant as a dis to any of today's custom trumpet builders, I do think that it is interesting the similarities we can draw from a comparison to Stradivarius violins as depicted in the article.

    Just as an overview, the article basically says that while Stradivarius violins do in fact have a good, classic tone and sound, they aren't always the best (Guarneri violins were equally as good in sound, yet quite a bit less expensive...enough said on that! :lol: ) and that much of what they are today was started long ago by the mystique that Antonio Stradivari was able to cast over his instruments.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the article and immediately drew a couple of comparisons to some modern day trumpet makers, and I thought that you would enjoy the article too.
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Hi Patrick

    A friend of mine purchased a Stradivarius violin for his wife. At one time he had 3 Strads at his home at one time. (Two dealers were there)
    We also compared with blind tests the Strad and a Guarneri violin. The Stradivarius was a much nicer and fuller sound.
    That being said, I belioeve that Isaac Stern played a Guarneri violin when he became a superstar violinist. I heard him front row at the DSO and he was fantastic.

  3. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    I don’t have the book with me right now, but there is a great story in Kenny Werner’s Effortless Mastery book. He says that he and about 50 other piano players were at a celebration for Bill Evan’s 50th birthday. There were many players that sat down at the upright piano in the room and played during the party. At last they asked Bill Evans to play something.

    He agreed, and had one of his students join him at the upright. First Bill Evans was playing on the bass side. Kenny Werner recalls how tinny the student sounded at the treble end and how fantastic the bass part sounded. After a while they switched parts and the tinny sound in the treble is replaced with a sound that should have been coming from a concert grand piano when Bill Evans is playing on the treble end.

    How can that be? I always thought that a piano had a characteristic sound and you could do little to change the actual sound being produced (except for chord voicings and note choices). Kenny Werner described the touch of Bill Evans and the “shock absorbers” that he had in his arms that allowed him to coax the best sound out of any instrument that he touched. He found the sweet spot!

    I know a fine instrument matched with an equally fine player is a joy to hear. I always enjoy the stories about the exceptions to the rule. Great players choose instruments that allow them to make their best sounds, but the sound is ringing so loudly in their minds, it can’t help but come out, no matter what is in their hands.
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    A bit off of the subject of trumpets, but I have a friend who I gig with that just has great tone on the guitar - it's in his hands and he can make even cheap guitars sound good as long as you can get them in tune.
  5. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I played the Hindemith Sonata for Rudolf Serkin at Marlboro many years ago. I could not find a groove for the final chorale and I asked Rudy to play it along with me..........the roof came off that studio when he played the same instrument as my very fine accompanist. The player makes the difference............even on the piano :cool:
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Wow! 3 Strads in the same house at the same time - there are only like 600 of them left so all things considered, that's a pretty high concentration.

    It wouldn't surprise me that the Strad actually sounded better - it is a Strad after all and they don't have the reputation they have for nothing.

    So to bring this back online of "General Trumpet Discussion", which trumpet maker today (or trumpet, for that matter) would really be considered the Stradivarius of today? (And it sure as heck isn't the Bach Stradivarius, although at one time it may have been.)

    There are a few makers that craft very fine playing trumpets and are somewhat steeped in mystique. Monette, of course, is at the top of the list, but what about Blackburn? Lawler? Eclipse?

    Just who is making today's "Stradivarius"?
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I figured that people would jump all over my last post here to give their opinion of a current day comparison to Stradivari where it comes to trumpet makers and trumpets.

    Maybe I need to change the title of the thread.
  8. Clarino

    Clarino Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 9, 2003
    Sheffield, England, UK
    I think Monette fits the bill for trumpet makers Stradivari. The prices he charges and the secrecy of his techniques are the marketing tools Stradivari used. Perhaps not the best trumpets in the world, but damn good ones, and they will be rare after he is gone.
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Well, on top of that, people who played Stradivarius violins raved about them when they were new - same thing with Monettes. The people who play them and like them swear by them.

    Good stuff!
  10. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    In my opinion, I think Monette is the todays Stradivarious. I can't say for sure, because I have never personaly played a Monete, Blackburn, ect... But I really can't see spending $7,000 to $8,000 on a trumpet. I just don't understand what an extra $5,000 dollars can really give you that something like Kanstul and a few upgrades dosn't have, I'm sure it's better, but is it really $5,000 worth better, is it really 2.5X better than a Kanstul, Bach Strad, Yammaha Xeno?

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