Stradivari Violins on Display in Moscow Museum

This is a Stradivari violin is being played at the opening of a special exhibition of rare string instruments at the Moscow Museum of Musical Culture. Exhibited here are 19 string creations of prominent Italian musical instrument makers from the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the instruments are about four hundred years old.

The display includes nine violins, one viola and a cello made by Antonio Stradivari, regarded as one of the best stringed instrument makers of all time. Today, his violins, in particular, sell for millions of dollars at auctions.

[Irina Novichkova, Curator]:

„Antonio Stradivari made very few violas. Currently, worldwide there are perhaps one-and-a-half or two dozen of his altos. It is a very unique and exclusive opportunity to see and especially to hear his viola here.“

The instruments of Guarneri del Gesu measure up well to the creations of Stradivari in the fullness of sound and the richness of tone. There are two violins of this master presented at the exhibition. They are very popular among musicians. Paganini played one of them.

[Amiran Oganezov, Instrument Restorer]:

„The outstanding virtuoso Niccolo Paganini had six violins. Two by Stradivari and a few other instruments, as well as one by Guarneri del Gesu. He has never played the ones by Stradivari, he only played this violin and gave concerts only playing this violin because it covers huge concert halls. Now it is in Genoa.“

Blue lights in the exhibition room symbolize the sky, and the violins are like stars.

[Olga Kiryukhina, Exhibition Designer]:

„We wanted to emphasize that violins are stars, and they were sent down to us from heaven. This is a divine creation, we wanted to stress it in this way.“

Visitors say that the show is a pleasure for the eyes and ears.

[Emil Chalbash, Violin Instructor]:

„I am a university instructor and I am very pleased that we have such an opportunity to get acquainted with such instruments that are completely unique and listen to their magical, unsurpassed sound.“

All exhibits are part of The Russian Federal Collection of Unique Musical Instruments. They are played at concerts and musical contests. The administration of the museum managed to gather them under the same roof for only one month.

NTD News, Moscow.