Jean-François Aldric is one of the great names in French making, of the same generation as Lupot and Pique. In his later years he made superb Stradivari copies modelled on originals which he obtained from Luigi Tarisio, and our violin is one of these – a very faithful Strad copy displaying exquisite workmanship, with a real concert sound.
Looking at this superb violin, you have to acknowledge that it all went a bit downhill with Vuillaume! The Paris makers of the previous generation just had an eye, making beautifully observed copies while retaining their own personality and idiosyncracy. Aldric is one of the lesser known makers of this period, often grouped with Thibout, but his work is very beautiful. The particular combination of precision and softness is very faithful to Stradivari as are all details of the arching and the model – really it’s only the varnish which points to Paris.
The condition is very good – no cracks or damages to the back, ribs or scroll, just a small repaired crack under the chinrest and another short repaired crack above the left f-hole eye. The original varnish is very well preserved.
One of the qualities that players appreciate in Stradivari is the fact that even when playing with delicacy and grace there is just so much sound! This violin has the same quality – very high output while seeming light and effortless. It has plenty in reserve too, and you can scrunch away in the upper reaches of the G string without the tone breaking up. The high register is sublime, very smooth and full of sizzle.
Quite different from the Lupot sound, which tends to be sumptuously brown – this violin has a more airy character but with similarly impressive volume and projection. It would be a great choice for a young virtuoso or any soloist who needs to buy a house AND a violin!