A Precious Musical Treasure: The Red Diamond

Cesare Baccheschi (February 03, 2011)
A very special guest performs at the first event of the Stradivari Evenings, a series of eight classical music concerts: a "Strad" worth six million dollars

On February 1, at 7pm, the Red Diamond Stradivari violin played by Judith Ingolfsson entertained the audience from its first note of Schumann's Sonata N.2 in d minor for Violin and Piano, accompanied by pianist Vladimir Stoupel. The Liederkranz Foundation, located at 6 East 87th Street, hosted the first of a series of eight concerts organized by Paolo Alberghini, a well known violin dealer but also a violinist and connoisseur of the classical music venues in New York, organizer of the Stradivari Evenings, inaugurated by this event.

The Stradivari Evenings, of which Alberghini is the founder and the artistic director, have three main goals which constitute the mission of the events: “The first”, he said, “is to celebrate the legacy of Stradivari here in New York and in the world; the second is to help the community with the power that the name Stradivari brings to a concert; and the third is to present a great concert with great artists in an intimate setting with an all new idea”.

The “intimate setting” was a very beautiful recital hall that had the chance to host a public that almost filled the 100-seat room, made up of people of every age who contributed, buying the ticket, not only to the continuation of the series but also to the funding of some important musical institutions, such as the Children Orchestra Society. It benefited of a percentage of the ticket. “It is a foundation in Long Island”, said Alberghini, “that has been active for 40 years. It is a very well established institution and it needs funds”. This will be a constant of every event of the series.
The musicians were extremely generous, entertaining the public with more than two hours of music. The program was Robert Schumann's Sonata No. 2 in D minor for Violin and Piano, Igor Stravinsky's  Divertimento for Violin and Piano, Tchaikovsky's The Fairy’s Kiss, and Dmitri Schostakovich's  Sonata for Violin and Piano Op. 134.
Thanks to the small environment, it was extremely interesting for the audience to experience classical music so closely and to enjoy the exceptional sound that was coming out of the Red Diamond Stradivari played by the expert hands of Judith Ingolfsson with the masterful support of Vladimir Stoupel. It has not always been easy to master and perfectly control the sound of the 300-year-old violin and, as with every great instrument, it has a soul that needs to be pandered in order to obtain the perfect sounds. “I was having a lot of fun”, said Ingolfsson, “playing this violin. It was teaching me how to play itself”.

Familiarly called the Strad, it turned out to be an extremely powerful instrument, not only able to give texture to all the different shapes of the masterpieces of classical music, but also an extremely important ambassador of a brilliant artisan who made the history of lutists without completely revealing the secret hidden in the “soul” of these magical instruments. There are approximately 600 Strads and each one preserves not only the story of their Italian maker, but also the history of classical music, because every musician that played them left an indelible trace in the instrument itself.
The Red Diamond, at the moment, is in New York and Mr. Alberghini is taking good care of it. 
He claims that “working with a Stradivari is also a way to get closer to my Italian heritage since my father is from Bologna and he came to America because he was a musician. He arrived on a cruise ship. He was a very good singer.  He decided to make his life in America in 1972.  Then he met my mother and decided to stay in America”.
The next concert of this interesting series will take place on March 15, 2011, and the theme will be “Honoring Violin Maker Luiz Bellini” and will host Omar Chen Güey on the violin. For further information about this and other events of the series, one can visit the official web site of the Foundation.





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