So a bit of background is probably in order. In December of 2003, my Grandmother bought me a violin. I had never had lessons, and didn’t have a clue how to play, but I knew I wanted to learn. I have always had an affinity for music, and I was sure I could teach myself how to play. Sure enough, I did.
After a month of practicing maybe 30 minutes a day, I was told that I was playing better than most students with 2 or 3 years experience. It has been 5 years, and at this point I can play almost anything that I hear (although I still can’t read music 🙂 ). My wife loves it when I play for her, which I don’t do nearly enough…
Earlier this year, I decided to get a new violin. I had seen a luthier shop in Sandy, UT, (Charles W. Liu Fine Violins) and decided to try there. I talked a good bit to the salesman, and after trying a few violins, I found the one I wanted. While we were going through the paperwork, I asked him what the most valuable violin they had had come throught the shop was, and he told me they currently had a violin made in 1721 in Venice, Italy, by one Carlo Tononi. This particular violin was worth over $300,000!
Then, much to my delight and amazement, he asked me if I would like to play it!!! “Hell yes” went through my mind, but I think I replied with “Could I really?”
It was smaller than modern violins, and absolutely beautiful. The wood grain was incredible, and the sound was absolutely unreal. It sounded worlds better than anything I had ever played. The music was richer, clearer somehow. The bow I was playing with was worth more than some cars (which makes a huge difference). I still can’t believe that the violin itself was worth more than a Ferrari 599 GTB, to those of you who know what that is 🙂 It was truly an experience of a lifetime.
So how is a violin like a Ferrari? When that violin was made by an Italian master, using the finest materials available, and allowing the “driver” an experience usually outside the reach of mere mortals. Very, very cool.
Next up: Learning to play the piano…Rachmaninoff here I come!