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Guarneri

From Academic Kids

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1740 Guarneri del Gesu, the "ex. David-Heifetz."

Guarneri is the family name of a group of highly acclaimed violin makers (luthiers) from Cremona in Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries, whose standing is considered comparable to those of the Amati and Stradivari families.

  • Andrea Guarneri (c. 1626 - December 7, 1698) was an apprentice in the workshop of Nicolo Amati from 1641 to 1646 and returned to make violins for Amati from 1650 to 1654. His early instruments are generally based on the "Grand Amati" pattern but struggle to achieve the sophistication of Amati's own instruments. Andrea Guarneri produced some fine violas, one of which was played by William Primrose.

Two of Andrea's sons continued the father's traditions:

  • Pietro Giovanni Guarneri (February 18, 1655 - March 26, 1720), known as Peter of Mantua (Pietro da Mantova) to distinguish him from his nephew Pietro Guarneri. He worked in his father's workshop from around 1670 until his marriage in 1677. He was established in Mantua by 1683, where he worked both as a musician and a violin maker. His instruments are generally finer than his father's, but are rare owing to his double profession. Joseph Szigeti played one of his instruments.
  • Andrea's younger son, Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri (November 25, 1666 - 1739 or 1740), known as filius Andreae, joined his father's business in Cremona, inheriting it in 1698. He is reckoned among the great violin makers, although he struggled to compete with Stradivari, a pervasive presence throughout his career. From around 1715 he was assisted by his sons, and probably Carlo Bergonzi.

Giuseppe Giovanni Battista was father to two further instrument makers:

  • Pietro Guarneri (Peter of Venice or Pietro da Venezia) (born April 14, 1695 - April 7, 1762), moved to Venice around 1720 and adopted Venetian techniques into his own violin making. His instruments are rare and highly regarded. One of his cellos was played by Beatrice Harrison.
  • Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri (del Gesù), also known as Joseph (August 21, 1698 - October 17, 1744), has been called the finest violin maker of the Amati line. Giuseppe is known as del Gesù because his labels always incorporated the characters I.H.S. (Iesu Hominum Salvator) and a Roman cross—possibly because he was a Jesuit. His instruments deviated significantly from family tradition, becoming uniquely his own style, and are considered second in quality only to those of Stradivari and argued by some to be superior. The famed violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini’s favorite instrument Cannone Guarnerius was a Guarneri del Gesù violin of 1743, and the "Lord Wilton" Guarneri del Gesù violin made in 1742 was owned by Yehudi Menuhin. Twentieth-century players who used his instruments included Arthur Grumiaux, Jascha Heifetz, Leonid Kogan, Isaac Stern and Henryk Szeryng.

The Guarneri family's history may be somewhat uncertain. One Guarneri source says, "Giuseppe del Gesù and Peter of Venice may have been cousins rather than brothers, and Peter of Venice may have been the son of Peter of Mantua."

External links

hu:Guarneri nl:Guarneri pl:Guarneri

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