The Baroque Violin and the Modern Violin: Similar, but very Different
Elizabeth Blumenstock on the Baroque violin, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Baroque, Classical and Modern Violin Bows; Lisa Grodin, Voices of Music
Jaewook Han, Bundang, Korea, 2011 (after Pietro Guarneri of Mantua, Mantua, Italy, 1704)
Pietro Guarneri of Mantua, Mantua, 1704, the ‘Marquis de Sers’
Original label: “Petrus Guarnerius Cremonensis fecit / Mantua sub tit. Sancta Teresiae 1704”; first three digits of date are printed, the last handwritten; a faded “i” or “1” can be seen written over the printed “0”
Back: One-piece cut on the slab
Top: of somewhat irregular grain
Length of back: 35.6 cm
Upper bouts: 16.8 cm
Lower bouts: 20.5 cm
Pietro Guarneri of Mantua (1655 – 1720)
Older brother of Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andrea, Pietro Guarneri began to work in his father Andrea’s shop from an early age, around 1670. Equally talented as a violinist and violin maker, Pietro relocated to Mantua in the 1680s to further his playing opportunities at the court.
His career as a maker languished as a result and few of his instruments survive, but they are almost all violins of superior workmanship and elegance. The materials and varnish are excellent, and the f-holes display an individual style, with large open circles and elegant curves. The Amati influence is strongest in his work, but elements of Stradivari and Stainer are also visible. Pietro left a mark on Mantuan violin making that is evident in the work of later makers such as Balestrieri and Camilli.