Great violinists can make music out of practically any instrument. But it certainly helps if that instrument is a Strad or a Guarneri, or something comparable rather than a cigar box.
Anne Akiko Meyers has been in the news lately for acquiring a violin reportedly worth $18 million: the 1741 “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu. Not that she really needs a better instrument. She already owns two Strads. In 2012 she made a recording of the Bach Concerto for Two Violins and played both parts herself. She played the first solo part using her 1697 “ex-Molitor/Napoleon” Strad and the second part using her 1730 “Royal Spanish” Strad.
She has recently recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on her “Vieuxtemps” violin. It gets its name, by the way, because it once belonged to the famous Nineteenth Century virtuoso violinist and composer, Henri Vieuxtemps. Apparently Ms. Meyers didn’t buy the “Vieuxtemps” herself. Rather, it was purchased for her lifetime use by an anonymous donor.
In the video Ms. Meyers gives us a sample of the sound of the “Vieuxtemps.”
Paul E. Robinson