Galimberti’s work is very close to that of his teacher Antoniazzi, and this violin bears an uncanny resemblance in the model, the varnish and the choice of wood. You might describe this as the classic modern Milanese violin – a broad and elegant Strad model with a rich orange-brown varnish with minimal shading. Much of 20th century Italian making was eccentric and often a bit unsuccessful, but the Milan makers were steeped in a professional culture, and their work is exact and beautifully judged.
This lovely instrument from 1930 is in near perfect condition – it has no cracks, and only some minor retouch to the wear on the right of the fingerboard and to the upper treble rib. The neck has been grafted.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Galimberti (I can’t pretend I always get along with Antoniazzis, though the best are exceptional), but this violin is a real winner. A big muscular and fruity sound, yet still precise and pure – supremely articulate, stiff enough to take a heavy bow, but still easy to play. It always sounds mature and sophisticated, and has this most desirable quality of sublime neutrality, in which the player can really shape the sound. I can’t find anywhere in the register where the tone fails – the G is briming with energy, the middle strings are crisp and strong, and the E string is loud without any hint of tinniness.
This is a top class violin suitable for a very demanding performer – not cheap I know, but still very affordable for the quality of sound it produces.