Celeste Farotti is one of the more intriguing early Modern Italians, and many of his violins have been mistaken for much older instruments. Here we have a relatively straight Rocca copy, a beautiful example with a powerful soloist voice. Some minor restoration hence the keen price.
Celeste Farotti is in the first rank of early 20th century Italian makers. Along with a number of other Milanese makers from the Bisiach circle, he turned his hand to copying, antiqueing and even faking, and he has a bit of a louche reputation as a result. But mainly he produced lovely copies of Rocca and Pressenda. This example is a classic Rocca copy with minimal antiqueing – it has a lustrous red-brown varnish with a touch of shading. The condition is generally very good – there’s one neatly repaired crack south of the treble f-hole, a small repair to the upper left rib corner, and some evidence of a repair to the neck joint. A few minor dings to the varnish too, but overall a very beautiful looking instrument.
I won’t pretend this is a violin for a delicate flower – it’s bright, robust and in your face. It has great projection, and it would be an ideal choice for a talented conservatoire player or young soloist taking on the big concertos.
It’s very even across the register, quite resistant, very clear in tone but with a nice crunchy edge. The upper register is outstanding, the E brilliant and penetrating right into the dead zone.
If you’re looking for an easy violin for a bit of Sunday afternoon Palm Court Orchestra action, this is emphatically the wrong violin, but if you want a powerful and supremely audible instrument which will handle a big stage, then look no further.
Dimensions: length of back 35.6cm, stop 130/195mm
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