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pId1
Provenance: Ascoli-Piceno
Maker: Aristide Benigni
Length of back: 35.9 cm
Year: 1956
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Italian violin by Aristide Benigni, Ascoli Piceno

This interesting Italian violin features an excellent sound which is full of warmth and powerful even at higher registers – radiant and sweet, rich with a mature authority which meets the needs of solo performance. Crafted in the year 1956, it is one of the later pieces in the oeuvre of Aristide Benigni from Ascoli Piceno, a region which has yet to receive the respect it is due in the history of violin making. As a result, little is known about masters such as Aristide Benigni and his contemporary Ludovico Giovannetti; their work is compelling not only because of its magnificent musical quality but because of its unconventional and independent style. Every aspect of this violin’s design shows that Aristide Benigni had a profound understanding of what matters most when it comes to creating a truly superior sound. In keeping with this approach, the violin’s appearance also reveals a master craftsman’s casual carelessness in terms of aesthetic details – a character trait which can also be seen amongst other Italian masters ranging all the way up to the great Guarneri del Gesù. The scroll was hastily carved, and the moderately-grained spruce used for the top had to undergo a minor repair at the left foot of the bridge whilst the instrument was being crafted. This repair can be seen under the original coat of luminous reddish varnish. The spruce he selected is a bold choice which can only come from decades of experience, and his decision is affirmed by the excellent acoustic properties of the material. For the two-piece back, Aristide Benigni chose unusually lovely flamed maple which complements the violin’s inimitable and distinctive appearance. This violin has been cited twice in specialist literature because of its expressive individuality: it is depicted in Artemio Versari’s Liuteria Italiana da Scoprire as well as in Florian Leonhard’s Violin Makers of Central Italy. The experts at our specialist workshop for restoration have studied this violin with great interest and confirmed that it is with minor repairs in excellent condition. They made optimizations and adjusted the tone, thus bringing this rare instrument to its top musical condition. We warmly recommend it to individualistst and professional musicians.

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