In Focus: A 1762 violin by Gennaro Gagliano

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Yuri Pochekin examines the Neopolitan maker’s 18th-century instrument

The son of Alessandro Gagliano and a brother of Nicolò, Gennaro Gagliano holds a special place among the violin makers of the Neapolitan school. Unfortunately it is difficult to indicate the exact dates of his birth and death, as various sources provide different dates. But judging from the instruments that have survived today, the main period of his creativity was roughly from the 1730s to the first half of the 1780s.

Gennaro’s individual creative style demonstrates his extensive knowledge of instrument acoustics. The elaborate modelling of the bodies, the arching, the elegant placement and size of the f-holes, and the refined varnish all allow his instruments to produce a profound, crystal-clear sound.

There is undoubtedly a close connection between the work of Gennaro and the finest makers of the Cremonese school. The influence of Amati and Stradivari can be seen in many details. Some sources even suggest that Gennaro was a pupil of Stradivari in his early youth, but we have no proof of that…

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