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Award-winning violin maker : The wood makes the sound

The wood smell covers the workshop as a subtle perfume. The smooth sawn logs of wood, the fine sorts fill the shelves up to the ceiling, exude their odor. In th

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Award-winning violin maker : The wood makes the sound

The wood smell covers the workshop as a subtle perfume. The smooth sawn logs of wood, the fine sorts fill the shelves up to the ceiling, exude their odor. In the corner of the lot of returned wood chips are together on the workbenches pens, glue bottles, carving knife collecting. Knife hanging spaces on the wall above the work.

Mira Gruszow scrapes at the work bench the width of the wood flakes from the plate on which you had previously drawn with a pencil, a violin outline. On the Sofa in the middle of the room, a viola, a very special. A Price Winner.

As in the kitchenette, the kettle is bubbling and the tea cups ready for your work, interrupting Mira Gruszow and Gideon tree leaf and take the time to tell the story of violin making. Your patient type will fit in this blissful place that you have built up in front of one and a half years, in addition to the Berlin workshop in Werder at the Havel and to build by their passion, violins, violas, and cellos, to life. This year, the dedication of the two, the are also a Few was rewarded. In the competition of the Violin Society of America in Cleveland, Gruszow, and tree leaf received two silver medals and one double gold medal.

double gold will be awarded rarely

the double-medal means a huge international success. For four days the instruments in Cleveland were in a hall. Two juries – a panel of musicians for the sound, one with a Violin makers for the crafts – judged on many hundreds of instruments. The violin from Werder was awarded by two juries, the highest rating, which is rare. According to the rules of the American violin making competition, double is designed for gold.

The peculiarity of your violin is located in the historical model, an Instrument by Carlo Bergonzi, so neither Stradivari nor Guarneri, as it is usual. Also, the mastery of their craft and the characteristic sound convinced the juries. The Cello of the two and the four instruments of your string Quartet – two violins, viola and Cello – was the sound of the jury, with their highest rating. There were two silver medals. In the Quartet about the Jury praised how well the instruments sound tuned, while maintaining its own distinctive character.

Of the excellent instruments never made it back, only the viola home. The other bought a musician in Cleveland is equal to the spot. Here in Werder the Remaining almost looks a little proud, as it stands now, alone on the deep dark green of the sofa. Its two creators to throw her smiling a glance. "The victory gives us recognition and respect among colleagues and also international recognition. We just get all sorts of requests from America, Australia or China,“ says Gideon tree leaf.

Six instruments, this is the year of production

Still don't want to increase the two their annual production of six instruments. Financially they can handle a violin from Werder costs a sum in the low to mid five-digit range. Also: "It would be too little for us, if we were to build instruments only. Great fun, makes us also the joint work with the musicians, if we're looking for the right sound and the Instrument for their needs,“ says Mira Gruszow.

The exchange with the musicians often begins long before the purchase, and goes far beyond it. First, it must be clarified that the Sound that the musician has. With this objective, the violin-maker from decide on each Parameter and for each Detail: how the piece of wood has to be, how thick the bar is, what exact Form the fretboard, how much the wood of the simple neck heel, the neck is on the body. They follow an Intuition that comes from experience and the Knowledge of the instruments.

luthier double. Mira Gruszow and Gideon tree leaf.Photo: private

Later, the luthier set the Instrument over a period of months, again and again in more detail. Most of the time it is corrections, for which you do not have to take apart the Instrument. Can, for example, changed the Position of the web or its shape can be easily adjusted and the voting floor in the interior is different. However, even if it sounds then same, as the musicians want it, they remain often in contact. In the case of professional use, the violin, the viola or the Cello comes in at least once per year to care for – it's a bit like the MOT in the car.

Gruszow and tree leaf to develop its instruments on the basis of only a few models. All cellos are based on a prototype, in the case of the violins, there are four. "Model" means in this case, the outline of the instrument, the shape of the f-holes and of the screw, as well as an individual style of design. The each of the string instruments would still have a character of its own, is due to the fact that even the tiniest change in a parameter affects the sound significantly. This may relate to the type of wood, the wood thickness, the curvature, or the way the parts are connected to each other. Or Details as attachments string at the very end of the violin, which biases the tailpiece to the wood body, which may consist of Kevlar or sheep intestine. The natural, traditional Material gives the sound a little more warmth against the modern Kevlar.

Old instruments are not always the ultimate

"as Long as we can develop our models in such a way that each Version is more interesting than the previous one, we need a new model", find the two. Moreover, Gruszow, and tree leaf understand a few basic models, with each new workpiece better, and for future instruments to learn. A new model would be eligible only if it offers a fascinating, previously unknown opportunities.

The exact knowledge of their instruments for the musicians of great advantage. "Who owns a Stradivarius, can go from one violin to the next, and everyone has a different idea of how to set it. Since there are so many variables. We know exactly how our instruments work.“ Of course, the big names in the history of Violin making in the workshop in Werder present. Stradivari and Guarneri, who coined around 1700 in Italy, the Golden age of violin making, are like the elephant in the room.

"Some of the old instruments are regarded as the ultimate, even if you look at the prices. But the prizes go to the name, not the sound,“ says tree leaf. "It is today an art market, an Antiques market," adds Gruszow. In addition to the few well-functioning historic instruments of this Antiques on many more difficult to play.

The industry is experiencing, your gold era

"Because the musicians have to fight then, and are more likely to be happy with a good, new Instrument," says Gideon. Blind Tests have confirmed that modern instruments are often perceived as more convenient. They respond less strongly to fluctuations in temperature or humidity, which makes them more reliable. And the old makes it unreasonably expensive, they are however, hardly for daily use.

Mira Gruszow and Gideon tree leaf can live alone from the new building: "20 years Ago there were only a few who could afford it. Most of the led on the side of a Shop, where they offered everything from strings sale up to repairs. The cost of time, which then lacked for the development of new instruments. The quality could not exceed a certain level.“ Today is different, the scene is even talk of a new gold age. The increased demand for new instruments makes it possible.

More about

Stradivarius for Zimmermann Permit, my New

Christiane Tewinkel

Gruszows phone rings: The wood supplier from South Tyrol with his truck full of ordered supplies down the road. Specific wood, it must be: For the cellos about maple or spruce from the mountains, from a height of at least 1000 meters, where it grows particularly slowly. Time is in any case important: Before from the Logs is actually a Instrument, store the wood in the Violin makers again over the years. But you really need more wood? The eye wanders the shelves. Also in the basement there is plenty – more than you can handle. And yet, there is still space. The large selection is important. Finally, the Violin makers in Werder is to always find the perfect piece of wood for the very special sound

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