Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 24, 2012.

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A recording based on the amazing provenance and history of the "Lipinski" Stradivarius violin, crafted in 1715.

For hundreds of years the name of Antonio Stradivari has been synonymous with the finest string instruments ever made. Although they are worth millions today, even during his lifetime both musicians and nobility coveted instruments from this master craftsman and engineer. Unsurprisingly, many of Stradivari’s violins have remarkable histories and pedigrees; one notable example is the “Lipinski” Stradivarius, crafted in 1715 during Stradivari's golden period.

The violin is named for the Polish virtuoso Karol Lipinski, who played on this instrument from approximately 1818 until his death in 1861. Lipinski was given the violin by a student of the legendary Giuseppe Tartini, the instrument’s first known owner. Known in his lifetime as a violinist, composer, concertmaster, and pedagogue, Lipinski associated with some of the most famous cultural figures of the time, including Franz Liszt, Nicolò Paganini (with whom he had a certain “rivalry”), and Robert Schumann, who so admired Lipinski that he dedicated his famous piano work “Carnaval” to him.

After Lipinski’s death the instrument eventually came into the Röentgen family, which included several violinists and the celebrated composer Julius Röntgen In the 20th century the violin changed hands several times, in 1962 arriving in the possession of the Estonian violinist Evi Liivak, who passed away in 1996.

I have been fortunate to play on this violin since 2008, and the aim of this project is to partially chronicle some of the extraordinary history of this violin and its associations. To that end a recording is planned that would include Tartini’s most famous work, the “Devil’s Trill” Sonata, a virtuoso solo piece by Karol Lipinski, one of Julius Röentgen’s unjustly neglected violin sonatas, and the stupendous Sonata in d minor of Robert Schumann, certainly performed during their lifetimes with Schumann at the piano and Lipinski playing this very instrument.

The recording will take place in August 2012, and will be released on AVIE Records, the noted label with whom I collaborated on the Respighi/Strauss/Janacek CD in 2006. Unlike many larger conglomerates, AVIE is completely artist-oriented, and this is truly an independent project over which I have total artistic control. The producer will be the eminent Evans Mirageas, well-known in the industry since his days at Decca.

The pianist for this recording will be William Wolfram, known for his outstanding solo work as well as his numerous chamber music collaborations (including three previous recordings with me).

I am asking for your help to make this project a reality. The money I hope to raise will be used exclusively for recording, production, and manufacturing costs, all of which are considerable, and I need your help to share this unique project with as many people as possible. I am deeply grateful for any support you can offer!

With sincere thanks,

Frank Almond

 

 

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    You'll receive an advance download of A Violin's Life .

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    You'll receive an advance CD and download of A Violin's Life. International donors please add $10 for shipping.

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    You'll receive an advance CD of A Violin's Life, plus a limited edition poster signed by Frank Almond. International donors please add $15 for shipping.

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    In addition to the items at the $75 reward level, we'll send you signed copies of the two previous CDs from Frank Almond and William Wolfram, featuring the complete Brahms Sonatas and Sonatas of Strauss, Respighi, and Janacek. International donors please add $15 for shipping.

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    All items at $125 reward level, plus we'll print your name in the credits inside the booklet.

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    All items at $350 level, plus we'll give you a box of 20 previously released Almond/Wolfram CDs for you to give to your friends. International donors please add $50 for shipping.

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    All $500 level items, plus 4 free tickets anyplace Frank Almond plays as a soloist or chamber musician (travel not included), and come meet me for a drink afterwards.

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    All $5000 level items, plus an hour long private concert in your own home with the "Lipinski" Stradivarius. Each of your guests (up to 20 people) will also receive a signed CD of A Violin's Life. Details of this reward will be discussed upon the CD's official release, and would be subject to reasonable scheduling/travel limitations.

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