Fine Violins, Violas and Cellos.
If there is one main historical maker influencing my instruments then it would have to be the famous Italian maker Guiseppe Guarnerius del Gesu (1698-1744) – based in Cremona and a rival to Antonio Stradivari, his late period violins represent a unique individuality in looks and tonal qualities.
del Gesu has been compared in his field as Vincent Van Gogh was with his unique painting style. Guarnerius instruments possess a dark, responsive, sonorous, powerful and sweet tone. These tonal characteristics are very much sought after by many leading soloists – the most famous violinist in history to play one of his masterpieces was Nicolo Paganini, whose Guarnerius del gesu violin acquired the fitting name “Il Cannone” for its powerful sound.
My aim as a maker is to make my violins, violas and cellos in the spirit of old Italian instruments right down to old organic resins and oils varnish recipes.
Steve uses a number of models for his violins, mainly the late period Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (the maker of Niccolò Paganini’s famous violin). These models produce the sound and look that satisfy many soloists. He uses other models from different makers.
Steve has a number of classical models based on the great Italian instruments. With violas, individual size requirements are discussed at length before making; and like his cellos, different woods are used for particular tonal requirements eg. maple, poplar or willow.
We have four main models: Matteo Gofriller, Domenico Montagnana, Allessandro Gagliano and Antonio Stradivari. The different models offer the player particular performance qualities; the various traditional woods used in the building, give each instrument it’s own individual tonal quality. These tonal requirements are normally discussed prior to crafting.
A typical example of the choice wood is either maple, poplar or willow.