Grace Notes: Violin, Violon, Violine, Violino
As anyone who has attended a classical music concert or seen pictures of a full symphony orchestra, the violin is the smallest of the family of stringed instruments and creates the highest pitches. Its innate acoustics give it enormous versatility in producing beautiful, sustained tones and pathos similar to the human voice while simultaneously giving the player enormous potential for flashy and scintillating sound effects and dramatic techniques. Its range of more than four octaves and the ability to play chords has made it ubiquitous in all kinds of music and cultures.
The evolution of violin making reached its apex in Brescia and Cremona Italy in the seventeenth century by Antonio, Girolamo, and Nicolò Amati, Antonio Stradivari, and Andrea and Giuseppe Guarneri. The instruments by these distinguished craftsmen have been prized and sought after by generations of artists, collectors, and musicians.
In celebration of WestportREADS, the Library will be featuring John Marchese, author of The Violin Maker: Finding a Centuries-Old Tradition in a Brooklyn Workshop. He will speak about his new book and introduce Sam Zygmuntowicz, the violin maker portrayed in the book. This program will take place on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. in the McManus Room.
To learn more about the history of the violin and its creators, be sure to look at Toby Faber's Stradivari's Genius: Five Violins, One Cello and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection, Edward Heron-Allen's Violin Making, As It Was and Is: Being a Historical, Theoretical, and Practical and Karel Jalovec's Beautiful Italian Violins. Some of the violinists in our compact disc collection include Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman, and Isaac Stern.