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Dean_Lapinel

"Violin Makers of Hungary"

14 posts in this topic

I have it, I think it’s a great book about an often under regarded school, and once you look at the photos you’ll see why a lot of Hungarian instruments have been “upgraded” in the past.

Lot’s of useful information and good quality clear photos.

My only gripe is very minor, but I dislike the blue background used on most of the photos.

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Neil wrote:

> often under regarded school, <

Yes, I've had a chance to see and hear some Hungarian makers recently and these instruments were first rate.

Oded

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It's a good book, but if you're building a book collection it's not in the first group I'd buy--mainly because in the sequence of gaining expertise it falls in a different place than near the beginning. Most of the violins are subtle variations on the standard ones, so if you don't have a taste yet for the fussy stuff, it might be premature. Unless you run into a lot of Hungarian violins, or want to. :-)

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The problem with Hungarian violins was that in many cases they looked too much like modern Italian violins and were routinely relabeled and christianed Italian. So it's hard to find good examples with orginal labels.

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That’s why I like Peter Benedek’s book; it’s one of the only places where you will find a comprehensive group of correct photos of instruments and labels from the Hungarian school.

But as Michael says it’s probably not the first book to buy unless you have a special interest in this particular field……………. being half Hungarian I do.

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Out of curiosity: is there a particular characteristic to Hungarian violins? Our luthier in town is Cremona trained, but the violins in his shop come from Hungary which I suppose makes them Hungarian violins. We had two violins and one viola - the one violin has just been sold - all of the same make. I don't have enough ear or experience yet: possibly a slightly darker sound than Italian? All I know is that I love the way our instruments sound but it's about time to educated myself a bit further.

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These days it's very hard to tell one country from another--everyone's looking at the same pictures and posters trying to do the same thing, and national or city schools don't mean much anymore, even though they exist in minor ways. That's how, for instance, it comes to be such a problem in Cremona that some people there sell Chinese violins with "Cremonese" labels, to the extent that they had to form an association whose members promised not to do such a thing. If you could tell the difference now between a Chinese violin and a Cremonese one, they wouldn't have to have done that, would they? :-) The results are entirely based on the quality of the individual maker, not what country he happens to be working in.

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Hi Neil,

I vaguely remember getting an order form from one of the Bookstores, but I did not buy it at the time. Is the book in English or Hungarian? Could you please post the book number.

Cheers Wolfjk

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Hi Wolfik

The book is in German and English, I’ve just been trying to find the ISBN number and strangely I can’t find it anywhere in the book.

I guess the best way to find out more would be to contact Peter directly in Munich, his workshop number is 00 49 (0)89 266654.

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In that case, it's time for the Hungarian book, though there's not much discussion in it. In general, most violin books, with the exception of the del Gesu pair, are lean on that.

I think you should get Duane Rosengard's Guad book, and "The British Violin", if you don't have them, and the two "The Cooper Collection" volumes, and "Violins, Vuillaume", if it's available. That should keep you busy for a while.

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I have and like it. The descriptions are relatively good (Benedek doesn't pull too many punches... in other words he doesn't seem to call an OK example a fine one, etc.) and the measurements included seem to match up pretty well based on the instruments I've seen, or sold, that were illustrated.

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