CD 99

Musical Instruments in the Ferdinandeum 6

The violin that Matthias Alban built in 1706 in Bozen is one of the most precious items in the music collection of the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum. This extraordinarily beautiful master instrument was acquired in 1966 from a Swiss collection. The violin is preserved largely in its original state; only the neck was re-fashioned to meet the  increased  demands  for intonation that most composers called for after 1800. Matthias Alban, who was born in Kaltern in 1621 and died in Bozen in 1712,  is  the  most  famous Tyrolean violin and lute maker after  Jakob  Stainer.  In  the 18th century his instruments were   considered   second only to those by Amati and Stainer, which explains why his name was often misused and inscribed on violins that do not even remotely recall his work. His best model is close to the Amati school but is usually very arched and with high sides. The craftsmanship is meticulous; the wood of the table is especially beautiful, the back usually plain maple, and the reddish-brown varnish is  Italian  in  nature.  Like Stradivari, he did not reach the pinnacle of his art until the  second  half  of  his  life. In tone his instruments come very close to Jakob Stainer’s. The Ferdinandeum’s violin is extremely beautiful in sound and form and is an absolute rarity. For the same reasons as with the glorious violin of 1682  by  Jakob  Stainer,  we chose violin sonatas by Ignaz Anton Ladurner (1766-1839) to demonstrate the sound of this master instrument.

Track 1, 1:40
Sonate I in C-major
Allegro maestoso