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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > July 2019 > Baroque to the future

Baroque to the future

Luthier Mathijstheyligers has recently completed a project to give the same Baroque set-up to a chamber orchestra’s entire string section. What happened – and how did it change the sound?


Points of interest to violin and bow makers

Mathijstheyligers (far let) discussing the project with members of La Scinilla

A s a luthier, I ind it fascinating to work in close contact with musicians. Being a musician myself, this is logical. But working with the whole string section of an orchestra and its conductor is a totally diferent experience. It brings the work of the luthier on to a diferent level: facing the ensemble as one instrument (made of many diferent elements), rather than working with a single musician.the result is very interesting and applicable to many orchestras, but it needs the full collaboration of the musicians. A musician obviously can’t be forced to have their instrument worked on, and there will always be someone scared and reluctant to take the big step. But considering an orchestra as one single musical instrument and trying to give it a speciic, recognisable sound certainly gives a new dimension to ensemble playing.

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About The Strad

Antoine Tamestit discusses his new recordings and we examine his viola, the 1672 ‘Gustav Mahler’ Stradivari. There’s a look at string teaching in Uganda and we have interviews with Sol Gabetta, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Gary Hoffman, Natalie Clein – and many more!