'The Stretton' after a violin by Joseph Guarneri del Gesù 1729
A lovely soloist violin (LOB 353.2mm) after the 'Stretton' Guarneri del Gesù of 1729. With brilliant and open sound combining depth in the lower registers with a luminous 'E' string quality in the manner of later Joseph Guarneri del Gesù instruments. When this instrument was played by Jonathan Sparey, formerly of The Fitzwilliam Quartet, he commented on the supremely even sound from bottom to top and ease of playing resulting partly from the delicate proportions. The original violin bears an imitation label with a date of 1726. For a long time this was assumed to be the correct date, however, after thorough investigations connected with the Guarneri exhibition organised by Peter Biddulph at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1994, it was discovered to date from 1729. The maple back of the original Stretton appears to be from the same source as the 'Kreisler' back and the two instruments are believed to have been made on the same mold.