A gorgeous new violin replicating the famous ‘Il Canonne’ (The Canon) Guarneri del Gesu 1743, with a stunning two piece back and glorious varnish, this violin just screams quality from the first time you pull a bow across the strings. It has a powerful, strong sound, with nice crisp and clean tone and it excels in projection. It has a lustrous clear varnish which finishes off this wonderful violin perfectly.
All our new violins are individually hand crafted using traditional methods and personally hand selected by myself direct from the maker.
This violin replicates one of the most famous and valuable violins in existence, the Guarneri del Gesu that was owned by Nicolo Paganini, which he named ‘Il Canonne’ (‘The Canon’) for its huge sound, and which he bequeathed at his death to the people of the city of his birth town, Genoa it Italy. It still resides in the Municipal Museum of that city, where it has its own dedicated curator who maintains it and plays it on a regular basis. It has been loaned on a limited number of special occasions to outstanding virtuoso’s for performance and recording. The winner of the annual Paganini violin competition also has the privilege of giving a performance on the instrument.
This is a beautiful violin made with high quality spruce and maple, which has been air dried for 14 years, and finished in a lustrous oil/spirit varnish. The sound is already remarkably open for a new violin and will only improve over the coming months and years as it is played in.
The excellent craftsmanship is followed up with careful set up to ensure that this violin is not has a wonderful tone but also the highest order of playability. Unlike many companies, and especially those imported from China, we ship to you with the bridge in place – this ensures that our high quality set up is maintained, so that you can take it straight out of the box, tune it and immediately start enjoying its wonderful ability to make music.
(Many companies ship with the bridge down, which frequently results in the violin arriving with the soundpost having fallen down. Now the two most important elements in the sound quality of a violin are the bridge and the soundpost, which require fine adjustment by an experienced person to get the optimum sound out of your instrument, meaning a trip to your nearest luthier if you are to get the best out of your newly purchased violin. This is why we have taken the time to develop safe methods of shipping violins that ensure that the careful set up is maintained for when it arrives with you).
What makes our violins different from others in this price range:
About Our Tonewoods:
Nearly every new violin advertised for sale these days comes with a claim that the wood is 10 – 20 years old at least. The inside story from those in the know is very different. The truth is that probably fewer than 10% of these instruments have wood that is 5 years old. Pressures of time and economy on price mean that an ever increasing number of makers are using ‘Green Wood’, less than a year old. Not only do violins made from green wood lack the tonal qualities of those constructed of mature wood but there is a high risk that they will crack, joints will come apart or the neck will warp. Our makers have a stockpile of wood sufficient for 5 years and the instruments that we select from them are made from wood guaranteed to have been air dried for at least 12 years. Forced drying, using heat to speed up the process makes the wood brittle.
The tone and projection of a violin is critically dependent on both correct thickness on the plates (belly and back) of the violin. Too thick and they will be stronger but lack the flexibility to vibrate freely. Too thin and the violin will be fragile under the immense pressure of the strings and although it may initially appear to have a good sound, over the course of a couple of years it will lose its tone. Our makers have carefully studied many highest quality instruments, especially the very best 17th century Cremonese (Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesu, Amati), and have developed a careful understanding of the correct plate thickness and distribution to give optimal results over the long term. The plates of these violins are on average around 5% thicker than that commonly seen on many new violins, and their tone will only ever improve with the ripening of time.
Back length: 354mm
Upper Bout: 168mm Middle Bout: 109mm Lower Bout: 206mm
String length: 330mm
Fingerboard: Ebony Fittings: Ebony
This violin comes ready fitted with high quality Larsens ‘Il Canonne’ strings (following Rusanda Panfili recommendations of Original G, D and A strings and Soloist for the E string).
A case is included in the price but no bow. Please Contact Us for bow options at very special prices.
About ‘Il Canonne’ Guarneri del Gesu 1743
‘Il Canonne’ is one of the most famous violins in existence and almost certainly the most important non-Stradivarius violin in the world today, being inextricably linked with its enigmatic owner Niccolo Paganini, who was both charismatic and demonic in performance.
Paganini owned numerous violins (as well as violas and cellos), made by Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri as well as others, but none were cherished by him like the Canon, ‘Il Canonne’, which gained its through its explosive sound in his hands. Many of these instruments Paganini acquired through his gambling habits, and wagers, and a number he lost this way to. In fact his beloved ‘Il Canonne’ came to him as an indirect consequence of one such indiscretion. Prior to a concert performance in Livorno, the then still teenage Paganini, lost his only violin, an Amati, in a card game. A generous wealthy businessman and amateur violinist named Livron lent Paganini a neglected Guarneri violin for the concert, which Livron attended, and astounded by Paganini’s playing he refused to allow Paganini to give it him back and made it a gift to him. Such is the stuff of which legends are made, and Paganini and his beloved ‘Il Canonne’ became one of the greatest musical legends of all time.
Many years later Paganini took his Canon violin to Jean-Batiste Vuillaume for restoration and the fitting of a modern bass bar. Vuillaume was the best luthier of his time and also a notorious copyist. On returning for his violin Vuillaume presented Paganini with two violins and challenged him to tell him which one was his genuine Canon. Only after playing both could Paganini identify the original through subtle tonal differences. Vuillaume made Paganini a gift of the copy, which he later gave to his student Camillo Sivori.
On his death in May 1840, aged 58, Paganini bequeathed his beloved ‘Il Canonne’ to the people of his Italian birth town, Genoa. It is now kept, alongside Vuillaume’s copy, in the Municiapal building of the city, where it has it’s own dedicated curator who maintains the instrument in playing condition and he takes it out every month to play. The winner of the now biannial Paganini violin competition has the great privilege of performing a concert on the fabled violin, and it has been allowed to be used by a very select few virtuosi for special concerts or recording. These include Salvatore Accardo, Shlomo Mintz, Eugene Fodor and the Jazz violinist Regina Carter – who recorded a complete Jazz album dedicated to its most famed owner, entitled ‘Paganini: After A Dream’
Salvatore Accardo plays Paganini’s La Campanella on ‘Il Canonne’
A short film about Shlomo Mintz performing Paganini on ‘Il Canonne’
Regina Carter’s recording on Paganini’s violin
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