The Stradivari, or Stradivarius, and Guarneri violins are two of the most well-known violins created. The instruments are named after their makers, Antonio Stradivari and the Guarneri family, who were both trained in the violin workshop of Nicolo Amati. This workshop was located in Cremona, Italy, where the Stradivarius violin shop was also located. The Guarneri family made violins not only in Cremona, but in Venice and Mantua as well.
One difference between the Guarneri and Stradivarius violins is their playability. The Stradivarius is considered easier to play, taking less effort for a violinist to create a nice tone compared to a Guarneri, which can take years to achieve the same effect.
A second difference between these two types of violins is their tone. French violinist Renaud Capuçon has stated that the Guarneri has a deeper sound compared to the Stradivarius. This difference in tone has also been scientifically documented as well, although it has not been conclusively determined why the two instruments sound different.
Another distinction between the Stradivarius and Guarneri violins is their makers. Antonio Stradiveri was the maker of his famous instruments while a family of luthiers made the famous Guarneri violins. The Nicolo Amati workshop was where both makers initially worked. In the Guarneri workshop there was not only Andrea, but also Pietro Giovanni, Pietro Guarneri (or Peter of Venice) and his brother Giuseppe (also called "del Gesu" since he used a cross and the initials I.H.S., which is a monogram for the name Jesus Christ) who worked on the violins. Giuseppe del Gesu became the most accomplished of the Guarneris.
Prices and Number
Made centuries ago by different people, these two types of violins fetch different prices and less than a thousand are still in existence. The Stradivarius violins tend to be higher in price. The highest price paid for one as of 2011, according to Strad Invest, was $20,000,000, while a Guarneri was sold for $7,000,000. Currently, there are known to be 650 Stradivarius instruments while only 135 Guarneri violins and one cello are in existence.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Who Invented the Violin?
There is little doubt that the violin is one of the best known musical instruments in the world. It is not only...
Making a Violin
Like the world of painting, where we celebrate figures such as Picasso, Monet and Rembrandt for their finely crafted masterpieces, the realm...
How to Tell If You Have an Authentic Stradivarius Violin
Antonio Stradivari, born in 1644, was a renowned Italian instrument maker. His instruments, from violins to cellos, survive as lasting testaments to...
Differences Between a Genuine Stradivarius & a Copy
Stradivarius violins are regarded as highly valuable, exceptionally well-crafted violins. The most valuable violins were made by Antonio Stradivari in the 17th...
Brands of Antique Violins
The violin is the best-known instrument in the string family, and also the smallest. Though its origins are unclear, Andrea Amati is...