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(Toronto Sun)   Priceless Stradivarius violin stolen, $100,000 reward offered. No strings attached   (torontosun.com) divider line 12
    More: Followup, Antonio Stradivari  
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2466 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Feb 2014 at 1:30 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-01 02:25:05 AM  
3 votes:
As a violinist, and as someone who would dearly love to see a Strad played live by someone worthy of it (someday, Joshua Bell...), this theft is really upsetting to me.  There are so few Strads left, and most are either sitting in museums, or the biggest travesty of all, in private collectors' vaults never to be heard and enjoyed as they should be.

Whoever stun gunned Almond and took the violin clearly know what it is and what it's worth, or they were hired by someone who does.  Such a tragedy.
2014-01-31 11:54:01 PM  
2 votes:
The 300-year-old Stradivarius was stolen from violinist Frank Almond on Monday night by thieves who shot the musician with an electric stun gun after he had completed a performance with the instrument in suburban Milwaukee

That violin was stolen by people who knew exactly what it was worth and it's likely on the way to some Russian oligarch's estate at this very moment, because he can pay more than it's worth on the open market "just because."  He'll probably train a siberian bear to play it.
2014-02-01 08:15:39 AM  
1 votes:
Forget tests that compare what sounds "better" (especially if the older instruments had old strings vs new ones on the modern ones).  It's been accepted that Strads sound best.  So, how to make a violin sound like a Strad?

There was a documentary many years ago that followed a man who set out to do so.  While the wood was important, the varnish seemed to be key.  The varnish had a unique blend of minerals, even ground sapphire.  When the violin maker used similar wood and replicated the varnish, the instrument sounded like a Strad.

Sorry I can't find the documentary to link to it.
2014-02-01 03:21:25 AM  
1 votes:

Weatherkiss: Oldiron_79: Weatherkiss: Mentalpatient87: The 300-year-old Stradivarius was stolen from violinist Frank Almond on Monday night by thieves who shot the musician with an electric stun gun

As opposed to a geothermal stun gun?

Also, I understand that the Stradivarius violins are priceless instruments... but I'm willing to bet that if professional violin afficiandos were to take the Pepsi Challenge, they couldn't tell the difference between a Stradivarius violin and a regular violin made with modern-day materials.

How much of the violin is still original, anyway? After 300 years none of the strings needed replacing? It hasn't taken any wear-and-tear over the past few centuries that would maybe require it to be repaired?

If it's a work of art, it needs to be preserved and cared for as a work of art. If it's going to actually be played, then don't be surprised if this shiat happens.

Well I just took the pepsi challenge on Youtube and I sort of failed. The modern new carbon fibre violin Sucked and I easily picked it put.

I actually guessed the vintage circa 1900 German Violin (which is a quality instrument but nowheres near the value of a Stradivarius) was the Stradivarius.

Apparently there's a Wiki page on a double-blind test regarding violins.


Yeah, it's been shown in a lot of different studies that newer violins can sound just as good as older ones.  But it's all pretty nuanced, and subjective.  Some of the people critiquing the study in that article also had valid points about the newer violins being adjusted by the judges prior to the test and the older violins being used as they were given by their donors (who may have been collectors and not necessarily violinists themselves, who knows).

I grew up half an hour south of Indy, where that study and contest was, and my family still lives there.  I'm surprised I've never heard of it, I would have liked to have attended.

Here's another fascinating informal study that was done involving a Strad (link goes to YouTube video of the experiment).  Joshua Bell, a virtuoso, played his Strad in a subway terminal for an hour during the morning rush hour.  Only 1 person recognized him, and very few people stopped to listen.  It was an experiment organized by a newspaper to see if people would pause their lives to appreciate beauty.  The answer was pretty sad, heh.
2014-02-01 02:45:15 AM  
1 votes:

Oldiron_79: Weatherkiss: Mentalpatient87: The 300-year-old Stradivarius was stolen from violinist Frank Almond on Monday night by thieves who shot the musician with an electric stun gun

As opposed to a geothermal stun gun?

Also, I understand that the Stradivarius violins are priceless instruments... but I'm willing to bet that if professional violin afficiandos were to take the Pepsi Challenge, they couldn't tell the difference between a Stradivarius violin and a regular violin made with modern-day materials.

How much of the violin is still original, anyway? After 300 years none of the strings needed replacing? It hasn't taken any wear-and-tear over the past few centuries that would maybe require it to be repaired?

If it's a work of art, it needs to be preserved and cared for as a work of art. If it's going to actually be played, then don't be surprised if this shiat happens.

Well I just took the pepsi challenge on Youtube and I sort of failed. The modern new carbon fibre violin Sucked and I easily picked it put.

I actually guessed the vintage circa 1900 German Violin (which is a quality instrument but nowheres near the value of a Stradivarius) was the Stradivarius.


Apparently there's a Wiki page on a double-blind test regarding violins.
2014-02-01 02:43:49 AM  
1 votes:
It's being delivered to Vault 92 as we speak.

www.fallout-archives.com
2014-02-01 02:31:24 AM  
1 votes:

Weatherkiss: Mentalpatient87: The 300-year-old Stradivarius was stolen from violinist Frank Almond on Monday night by thieves who shot the musician with an electric stun gun

As opposed to a geothermal stun gun?

Also, I understand that the Stradivarius violins are priceless instruments... but I'm willing to bet that if professional violin afficiandos were to take the Pepsi Challenge, they couldn't tell the difference between a Stradivarius violin and a regular violin made with modern-day materials.

How much of the violin is still original, anyway? After 300 years none of the strings needed replacing? It hasn't taken any wear-and-tear over the past few centuries that would maybe require it to be repaired?

If it's a work of art, it needs to be preserved and cared for as a work of art. If it's going to actually be played, then don't be surprised if this shiat happens.


Most of it should still be original.  Of course strings need to be replaced, and that does affect the tone, but the wood itself is the biggest factor of the sound; the shape, the quality, the finish--and it improves in quality as it ages.  Any repairs that need to be done to the body itself, in the hands of a skilled luthier (and I can't imagine a Strad being taken to anyone but the best), should not affect tonal quality or color.
2014-02-01 02:15:39 AM  
1 votes:

MattyBlast: Eltardo: Why do they let people just walk around with these things?  Hundreds of years old and a multimillion dollar price tag and they just take it with them when they leave like it was a gym bag?

This.  Dude should have had two bodyguards with him at all times, including before, during, and after performances.



was it insured?
2014-02-01 02:00:11 AM  
1 votes:

CygnusDarius: viscountalpha: And yes. This reeks of a pro job. I do have to wonder why they used a stun gun instead of flat out killing the guy.

Professional courtesy?

My guess it's that murder would be a biatch to clean up quicker, so they just relied on knocking the guy out with the stun gun.


Because it's assault and robbery, not a murder investigation. Fewer resources devotes, quicker to go cold.
2014-02-01 01:51:24 AM  
1 votes:

Lsherm: The 300-year-old Stradivarius was stolen from violinist Frank Almond on Monday night by thieves who shot the musician with an electric stun gun after he had completed a performance with the instrument in suburban Milwaukee

That violin was stolen by people who knew exactly what it was worth and it's likely on the way to some Russian oligarch's estate at this very moment, because he can pay more than it's worth on the open market "just because."  He'll probably train a siberian bear to play it.


I figured as much, given the price and obscurity of the violin, but part of me really hopes they catch some meth-head trying to sell the thing for fifty bucks at a pawn shop in a plaza between a liquor store and check-cashing place. It would just be hilarious when the cops pick up the guy and tell him how much it was actually worth.
2014-02-01 01:49:55 AM  
1 votes:
Why do they let people just walk around with these things?  Hundreds of years old and a multimillion dollar price tag and they just take it with them when they leave like it was a gym bag?
2014-02-01 01:45:37 AM  
1 votes:
I had a great aunt who used to say "If there are no strings attached, there are chains attached".

Truly a wise woman.
 
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