Stradivari Forests are Gone

A fifth of the ‘forest of violins‘ no longer exists. That is the assessment by Forestry Technicians in Val di Fiemme (Trentino Alto Adige) and in Val Saisera (in the province of Udine) after bad weather has destroyed the two spruce forests from which Stradivari already obtained the wood to make violins. 

It is there that the violin masters of the school of Cremona turn, when they have to buy harmonic wood with which to forge the most sought-after stringed instruments. 

Forestry Technicians travel in the woods on the Dolomites to choose the trees that will one day become violins, cellos, but also harps, pianos of pianos, harpsichords, spinets. And in the last few days, 10 years of planned forest cuts have been mercilessly brought down by bad weather.

The trees as of now

The wood of this spruce, Picea rubens, commonly known as red spruce, or Abete Rosso, as it is called in Italy,  has excellent sound amplification properties and, for this reason, is used in the construction of string instruments, giving life to the legendary Stradivarius violins. 

These coveted violins gave life to all sorts of myths:

– The “Lipinski” violin was worth about $5 million.

– “Red Mendelssohn” (as in the movie “The Red Violin”!) was sold in 1990 for $1.8 million

– “Kreutzer” was sold in 1998 for $1.6 million

– “Lady Tennant” was sold in 2005 for $2 million

– “The Lady Blunt” raised $15.9 million in 2011 for the Japan Earthquake fund

– “Molitor” was sold 2010 for $3.6 million,

– “Hammer” was sold in 2006 for $3.5 million

– “Baron van der Leyen” was sold 2012 for $2.6 million

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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