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The Tales and Truths of The Red Violin

There is some truth to the tales we know as fiction. Whether it is the moral of the story or a weaving of events that makes a resonating impression, the result is usually a mesmerizing account. This is true of the famous Red Mendelssohn. Crafted in 1720 by Stradivari himself, we find the Violin playing on stage with the remarkable Violinist virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn. Just under three hundred decorated years, the Red Mendelssohn has journeyed from its original home in Cremona, Italy all the way to New York City. It is known for the vibrant red finish that was finessed by Stradivari’s own creation. A remarkable work of art has inspired the hearts of many.

The Violin Voyage

A movie called “The Red Violin” recreates the travels of the Violin that has kept the world wondering. The facts that are known of the famed Stradivarius leaves a gap of over two hundred years to be left to ponder. In the movie, the red stain is of the Luthiers wife’s blood after an untimely complication that took her life. While we recognize this to be unlikely, it does offer a bit of drama to the scene. Stradivari’s first wife in real life did pass, however not as the movie aligns. The theatrical tribute to this Violin is in the lives it touched as it passed through from cities to villages. It was sold at various auctions both in reality and in the script. The story line follows the owners while they had the Violin in their possession until it changed hands through what seems to be fate.

Elizabeth Pitcairn ardently discusses her bond with her “Red Violin”. She is passionate and views the Red Mendelssohn as a friend and mentor. In regards to the movie, she has beautifully performed concerts titled “The Voyage of the Red Violin” that featured music from the movie. The Director of the film, Francois Girard has genuinely called Ms. Pitcairn’s  travels “a continuation of the journey of the Red Violin”. Some audience members admit they only went to see the concert because they enjoyed the film. Upon leaving a few short hours later they too were enchanted with the soulful sounds of the strings.

The Red Violin Mystery

The mystery of the Violins histories has been a mark of speculation for centuries. We are certain of its whereabouts and owners during a few time periods beginning in the 1930’s. The Violin changed hands at auction houses and became a spectacular piece collectors wanted. The only care takers that have been documented are:

  • Luthier Antonio Stradivari
  • Violinist Joseph Joachim
  • Composer Felix Mendelssohn’s Heirs
  • A New York Industrialist
  • Elizabeth Pitcairn

The limited history is an enigma that may never be determined. The movie helps spin the imagination of what could have happened all of those years ago. The truth lies within the Stradivarius itself. Elizabeth Pitcairn said it perfectly…”You almost feel like you are touching the past”.

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