It can be noted that people who have achieved excellence in any activity almost always have students. After all, knowledge exists to spread it. Someone passes it to his family, from generation to generation. Someone gives the same talented craftsmen, and someone just to all those who show interest. But there are those who, up to their last breath, try to hide the secrets of their skills. Anna Baklaga about the mysteries of Antonio Stradivari.
Before understanding his true purpose, the great master went through many professions. He tried to draw, make wooden decorations for furniture, sculpt statues. Antonio Stradivari diligently studied the ornamentation of doors and wall painting of cathedrals, until he realized that he was attracted to music.
Despite his diligent violin lessons, he was not able to become a famous musician. The hands of the Stradivarius were not mobile enough to extract a particular melody of purity. However, he had excellent hearing and a burning desire to perfect the sound. Seeing this, Nicolo Amati (Stradivari teacher) decided to dedicate his ward to the process of creating the violin itself. After all, the sound of a musical instrument directly depends on the build quality.
Soon, Antonio Stradivari learned how thick the soundboard should be. Learned to choose the right tree. I understood what role the varnish covering it plays in the sound of the violin, and what is the purpose of the spring inside the instrument. At twenty-two, he made his first violin.
After he managed to create a violin, the sound was no worse than that of his teacher, he began to work independently. Stradivarius fired up the dream to build the most ideal tool. He was just obsessed with this idea. In the future violin master wanted to hear the sounds of children's and female voices.
Before achieving the desired result, Antonio Stradivari went through thousands of options. The most important thing was to find a suitable type of wood. Each tree resonates differently, and it was searched for, distinguishing them by acoustic properties. Of great importance was the month in which the trunk was cut down. For example, if in spring or summer, there was a chance that the tree will ruin everything, since there will be a lot of juice in it. Really good tree came across rarely. Often, the master carefully used a single barrel for several years.
The sound of the future violin is also directly dependent on the composition of the varnish that the instrument is covered with. And not only from varnish, but also from the ground, which you need to cover the tree so that the varnish does not absorb into it. The master weighed the details of the violin trying to find the best proportion between the lower and upper deck. It was a long and hard work. A lot of tried and tested options and many years of computation took it to make a violin unsurpassed in sound qualities. And only at the age of fifty-six he managed to construct it. It was elongated in shape and had fractures and irregularities inside the body, thanks to which the sound was enriched due to the appearance of a large number of high overtones.
However, in addition to excellent sound, his instruments were famous for their unusual appearance. He skillfully decorated them with all sorts of drawings. All violins were different: short, long, narrow, wide. Later he began to make other string instruments - cello, harp and guitar. Thanks to his work, he achieved fame and honor. Kings and noblemen ordered him tools that were considered the best in Europe. During his life, Antonio Stradivari made about 2500 instruments. Of these, 732 originals have been preserved.
For example, the famous cello called “Bass of Spain” or the most magnificent creation of the master - the violin “Messiah” and the violin “Müntz”, according to the inscription on which (1736. D'Anny 92) calculated that the master was born in 1644.
However, despite the beauty that he created as a person, he was remembered silent and gloomy. To contemporaries he seemed alienated and stingy. Perhaps he was so because of the constant hard work, and maybe he was just jealous.
Antonio Stradivarius died at ninety-three. But until the end of his long life, he continued to make tools. His creations admire and appreciate so far. Unfortunately, the master did not see worthy successors of the knowledge he acquired. In the literal sense of the word, he carried him to his grave.
The most interesting thing is that the violins made by him practically do not age and do not change their sound. It is known that the master soaked wood in seawater and exposed it to the effects of complex chemical compounds of plant origin. However, it is still not possible to determine the chemical composition of the soil and varnish applied to its tools. Using the example of Stradivarius' works, scientists conducted many studies and attempts to make such a violin. Until now, no one can achieve that perfect sound, like the master’s original creations.
Many Stradivari instruments are in rich private collections. About two dozen master violins exist in Russia: several violins are in the State Collection of Musical Instruments, one in the Glinka Museum and a few more in private ownership.