A week in New York: art and urban landscape
We spent our last week in New York City. It was the first time for me, and we concentrated on the surroundings of Manhattan, as there’s so much to see.
We didn’t find Violoncello da Spalla related art or news there. Still, some interesting iconography that I didn’t know well, and I couldn’t imagine, from the catalogue pics, that it was so rich in details. I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you.
Seeing the original de La Hyre live, I couldn’t avoid noticing how detailed it is, showing the knots and the colour of the strings. Look below at the detail of the violin neck in the same painting:
The first thing your brain probably thinks looking at that is: oh, that’s awkward, the painter didn’t draw it carefully. Which is a bit strange given the care he put into painting the texture of the strings and the music score.
Compare it with the neck below, this time a marble statue. Right the same shape, and even here your brain refuses to consider it, because even if the violin has beautiful details, the playing position accounts for a 19 century “fake” (and even this should be food for the brain, I didn’t know yu could play baroque violin supporting with a left hand in this position).
I am not sure I’d dare to make a violin neck like those, but I did a Violoncello da Spalla like this, copying the shape from the original Wagner in Lübeck. The lenght is the same of the violin’s and if you consider the curve it’s actually very similar to the previous ones. And it is the most comfortable neck I played on.
Updates from our workshop
We had a great time in New York City. We met Jeemin Kim, with whom I developed a good friendship during last year, but only on facebook, this was the first time we met live! She is the co-founder of Women in Luthierie, and a well-established restaurer working on high end instruments. She is now opening her own workshop right in the heart of Manhattan, on the 57th street, side by side with the new Stainway building (yes, the historical Stainway hall is now the luxury entrance of a private condominium) and almost in front of the Carnegie Hall.
The other news is that my Violoncello da Spalla found a home in Philadelphia, with a violinist who plays also viola, from baroque to modern and also amplified. I am sure she will do great things with it as she could play it fluently from the first try!
This will be a month of rambling: first our trip in US, tomorrow we are driving to Wien (a bit of Violoncello da Spalla related things there). Expect this newsletter to be late next week, but be sure it will come.
In the first half of May we will have a recording (with Violoncello da Spalla) and a presentation. We are getting anxious about spending so much time far from our workshop and our tools. After the pandemic we are not used any more to traveling and being so busy!
Featured video of the week
New video from Sergey Malov, an insatiable researcher of new repertoire