Magazine article Gramophone

ARTISTS & THEIR INSTRUMENTS: Isabelle Faust Talks about the 'Sleeping Beauty' Stradivarius of C1704

Magazine article Gramophone

ARTISTS & THEIR INSTRUMENTS: Isabelle Faust Talks about the 'Sleeping Beauty' Stradivarius of C1704

Article excerpt

"It was In 1996 that a friend of mine, a violin expert, told me I had to see this instrument. I went to Munich, had a look and played It for half an hour. Certain notes on each of the strings--really separate notes--just struck me in a way I'd never felt before: specific notes that suddenly felt radiant like a star. This is worth fighting for, I thought, so I went on the long search for a sponsor, because of course even then the prices were just ridiculous.

I didn't want to play on it and fall too much in love with it in case it didn't work out, and I didn't even ask to use it for concerts. But I was lucky, and a bank agreed to buy it. The instrument has a fascinating history--it was rediscovered In a cupboard in a German castle around 1900 but even then was hardly played at all--and I feel Incredibly fortunate to have been the one, if you like, to kiss it awake.

When I started playing it in concerts (and recordings) I wasn't aware that it wasn't already at its full-blown beauty. But it opened up more every day; it was an incredible process to watch and to be involved in, bringing this instrument fully Into bloom. …

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