The violinist was recently loaned the 1744 ’Sainton’ Guarneri ‘del Gesu’ violin for her new recording of Bach and Pärt. She shares her thoughts on the instrument with The Strad

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Arabella Steinbacher © Co Merz

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How did you come across the 1744 ‘Sainton’ Guarneri ‘del Gesu’ violin?

It happened to be that the private Swiss foundation, who provided to me the ’Benno Walter’ Strad from 1718, also gave me this amazing ‘del Gesù’ for a certain period to do the recording on it. It is an exciting experience for me to be able to play on these both beautiful instruments, which are so different from each other. 

What were your first impressions of the instrument?

The ‘del Gesù’  is very complex in its character and it took me a while to find out how the violin wanted me to play on it. I immediately fell in love with its warm deep sound

How would you describe the versatility of the instrument in playing repertoire by Bach and Pärt?

This instrument definitely has a huge versatility of colours in sound and is very different from the Strad. It opened a new dimension to me since I was so used to the Strad sound since over 15 years.

Could you describe your favourite types of sounds to make on the instrument?

I love to feel the point of ’no limit’ in sound, when the violin is really challenging me. It can be of course in very intense moments but also especially in the most pianissimo places, when it feels like we are completely in unison, like flying together.

Arabella Steinbacher’s album  Bach and Pärtwill be released on PENTATONE on 10 February 2023.

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© Co Merz

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