Full Size Czechoslovakian 1940-60s Violin

Code 115

Professional violinist and violin teacher Ursula Donnelley plays and reviews a full size (4/4) Czechoslovakian violin.

I borrowed this violin last week whilst Dr Sutton was repairing my violin. At first he asked me to try it to see if I felt it was too bright. I much prefer a bright sounding instrument (on the loud side) to a muted instrument, as I am a soloist and have played violin in loud rock bands, so like an instrument that can be heard from miles away. I told him that I would be happy to play it for a few days.

I love the bold sound, especially on the lower end, and think this would suit someone who wanted to play folk music, particularly the Klezmer/Gypsy style I was performing when I made the video. If you’re in a loud band with a set of drums and want a violin that can stand out in this scenario, this one would be very good.

At the same time, the instrument would suit a confident intermediate classical student. You need to be confident as it is so bright – it is certainly not an instrument that blends in – but I would have liked this when I was a student as I always wanted to be louder than everyone else.

One of the downsides of brightness of tone in a violin is that it can be a lot harder to mask any mistakes or squeaks that come from catching strings, however if played well it is an excellent instrument for a player that wants to stand out from the rest.

This violin labelled as “The Performer” is available to buy. Details HERE

Restoration notes by Dr Mike Sutton

This violin had no damage when I bought it. It has been knocked about a bit in the hands of players down the years and picked up a few scuffs to the varnish. In most case I would cover up such scratches and scruffs and blend them in carefully. In the case of this violin I opted merely to give then a very light covering in varnish and then smooth that off with my special formula of polishing compound. The violin looks quite nice in this state of patina preservation. I fitted it with a set of Pirastro Tonica syntehtic core strings, a nice alloy lightweight tailpiece with integral fine tuners, a new bridge fitted and tuned to the violin and a new high quality sound post.

This student violin has an original 20th century brown paper label inside that reads “Antonius Stradivarius Ceremonious Faciebat Anno 1721” Of course, that simply means only that it is just a tribute/copy of the Strad model.

This violin is rather loud and bright. In fact surprisingly so. As Ursula Donnelley writes above (and she should know because she has played violin in a band) this violin would suit a band violin player, a busker or travelling player. Not being in pristine condition the owner should not worry too much about it picking up additional knocks, scruffs and scratches. Alternatively, it’s a great budget-buy yet very capable violin for a student who wants to be heard.

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