September 3, 2012

Amo, amas Amati

If you’d like to observe Labor Day by learning more about the Marikana miners ‘ strike in South Africa, a very good source is The Daily Maverick.

But I’m celebrating Nicolo Amati today, the man who survived the plague that swept through Cremona and lived to create what is basically the modern violin.

He was a third-generation luthier – fabulous word, no? – but improved on the family design by making smaller, more graceful instruments, their curves calculated mathematically to create  ‘the height of elegance in violinmaking.’

The MMA has a fine example of an Amati – see it here.

Amati  (1596 –  1684) was also apparently an excellent teacher and the first important Guarneri – Andreas – was one of his students. Andreas founded his own line of talented luthiers.  It’s possible that Antonio Stradavari was also a student, but his  claim may just have been a kind of extreme compliment.

In any event, British violinist Thomas Bowes has an Amati and in this clip from a rehearsal with the Malmo Symphony it looks as if he’s playing it – and it may be an optical illusion, but it looks a bit smaller than the instrument played by the first violin.  It certainly is very sweet.



  1. Good to her from you Madam Blogger. And, do you pronounce the nice word as though it were French or Italian. Guess I’ll see if it’s in my Webster’s.


    Comment by Carol — September 3, 2012 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  2. Very sweet indeed.


    Comment by GALYA TARMU — September 3, 2012 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  3. So beautiful and interesting thank you


    Comment by avery zia — September 4, 2012 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: