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modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - top
modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - top
modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - back
modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - back
modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - ribs
modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - ribs
modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - scroll
modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941 - scroll
Inventory No.: A28
Provenance: Bologna / Rovereto
Maker: probably Luigi Mozzani
Length of back: 35.6 cm
Year: 1941

Modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941

This modern Italian violin is a brilliantly crafted instrument which clearly reflects the traditions of the Bolognese school and was probably made by Luigi Mozzani. Mozzani, who hailed from a poor family of shoemakers and weavers in Ancona, enjoyed a multifacetted musical career and started out his impressive journey as an oboist. At the zenith of this phase of his professional life, he played in the New Yorker Philharmonic under Arturo Toscanini. During this period, he also focused on the guitar, his real passion, and quickly became one of the most influential virtuosos of his day. In 1910, Luigi Mozzani opened his own guitar workshop in Cento, and from 1917 onward, violins were made there as well. In keeping with his high quality criteria, Luigi Mozzani worked with an outstanding contemporary luthier, a man four years his junior. Carlo Carletti learned his art from Fiorini, Pollastri and Sofritti, and he even crafted instruments in the white for the renowned atelier of Leandro Bisiach. Carlo Carletti established the standards for the small but very refined violin section of Luigi Mozzani's workshop. The 1941 master violin we present here also shows Carletti's influence due to its perfectly crafted workmanship and its distinctive, mature style with an appealing elegance. It ranks amongst Mozzani's latest pieces and was made in the period of nearly two years at the end of his life when he was once again permitted to pursue his work: the "Liuteria Italiana Luigi Mozzani" he founded in 1929 in Rovereto and his workshop were both forced to close under Mussolini's fascist dictatorship. The challenges he faced may also explain the label, which is blatantly false and bears the fictitious name of a luthier paying hommage to a Baroque violinist. It is quite conceivable that this was an effort to conceal the violin's true provenance. However, a hand-written signature on the top block inside the body confirms that the violin was made in 1941. The premium tone woods themselves are already a clear sign that the master who made this violin had a rich wealth of experience and confident hand. The finely-grained spruce of the top is a quality material that is hard to find, and the tightly-flamed maple used for the two-piece back is compelling not only because of its elegant aesthetic but also because of its exceptional resonant properties. A rich orange-reddish oil varnish emphasizes the grain of these fine woods and the very cleanly crafted purfling which rounds out the striking margins. Kept in perfect and undamaged condition, this modern Italian master violin is a worthy instrument for solo performance, a powerful, bright sound rich in timbre and resonant brilliance.

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