About the Instrument
Once owned by Isolde Menges, a renowned English violinist and pedagogue in the early 20th century, this instrument was the second violin acquired by the ACO Instrument Fund in 2014.
Made in 1714 by Joseph Guarneri filius Andreæ, experts also agree that it is likely that the maker’s son, the renowned del Gesù, also had a hand in the craftsmanship. Only about 250 of Joseph Guarneri’s violins still survive.
“The back, in one piece, is of wood cut on the slab and marked by a broad, irregular curl, that of the sides, cut on the quarter by a handsome, small curl, the head being plain: the table is of pine of fine grain at centre, opening slightly on the flanks and the varnish, of an orange-red colour. This violin, in a fine state of preservation, is a handsome example of the maker’s work.” - 1937 certificate of authentication from W.E. Hill & Sons
About the Maker
Joseph Guarneri, (1666-1739) trained as a violin maker and violinist, and is considered to be among the great luthiers, producing instruments which are beautiful, and which exhibit a unique blend of tonal excellence, design, and accuracy of workmanship. Later, he was assisted by his sons, Pietro Guarneri and Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, and these instruments, built by father and sons, are often considered superior to his earlier instruments.
The ACO’s Guarneri instruments, of which there are currently three, add a “Carravagio”-esque element of intrigue and darkness to the sound of the Orchestra.