Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) is arguably the most famous maker of stringed instruments of all time time. The sound of his violins and cellos is considered magical, almost mystical, and experts have argued endlessly about what exactly makes them so special. Around 650 of his instruments are known to survive today; most of these are the legendary violins.
Much rarer still are guitars made by Stradivari. Only five still survive. Of those five, only this one remains playable. Known as the Sabionari, the guitar dates from 1679. Here Rolf Lislevand, a musician who specializes in performing early music, plays a tarantela by Spanish composer Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739.) What a wonderful way to begin the weekend!
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There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.