Playing the first notes on a violin is like acquainting with someone for the first time. But instead of communicating through words to say hello, one communicates though sound and vibrations. The first connection is established, the first impression is formed, and the relationship will only continue to develop as time goes on.
After a lengthy partnership with a 1705 ‘filius Andreae’ Guarneri violin since 2011, I met the 1691 ‘Auer’ Stradivari in July. I actually first came across the ‘Auer’ back in 2010, but I only held it for an instant and barely remembered it since. To have seen a violin again in a new light, one which you’ve only seen for an instant some years ago, evoked a fascinating sensation. It’s like reliving a hazy dream. The biggest surprise however, was playing on it for the first time.
The ‘Auer’ had only been played recently for a short time, but I could already hear the immense quality and refinement of the sound that would soon soar from it. It has obviously developed since then, but describing the sound is difficult as it doesn’t bring any immediate adjectives to mind. I don’t hear it as either dark or bright, focused or warm. However, that is in no way undesirable and as time goes on, I feel it has the ability to be all those things and more. In the end, what comes out should not be the sound of the violin, but the sound of pure music and the essence of one’s soul.