I’m a big fan of the Prague makers from the early 18th century right through to the present day, and FK Križ is one of the makers I most admire. This is the third violin we have had of his, and we currently have a viola too. Always very successful tonally, always distinctive and artistic in construction, these violins outperform most Italian instruments of the period yet cost a tenth of the price.
This violin is a typical del Gesu model with a degree of subtle antiqueing and a beautifully lustrous varnish. The materials are first class and the workmanship is exacting.
The condition is near mint, with no restorations or repairs of any kind – very little wear to the varnish, corners or edges.
On the basis of the 3 instruments I know, Križ violins have a surprisingly consistent sound – very open, big and powerful, sugary but with a hint of lemon! This one is a lot of fun to play, with an easy response and plenty of volume. It’s very consistent from bottom to top, and the high register sings beautifully. A very comfortable violin too – lovely feel to the neck, and good access in high positions.
There’s only so much that you can charge for a Križ, but any player would surely choose this over a Pedrazzini in a blind shoot-out. It would be a great violin for an extrovert young virtuoso – also very well suited to traditional styles of playing thanks to its quick attack and full lower register.
Dimensions: length of back 35.5cm, stop 130/195mm
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