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Listen to the oldest violin in the world: Andrea Amati’s “Carlo IX”

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Made in 1566, you can still squeeze some Schumann out of it!

Made by the famous Italian luthier Andrea Amati, this violin is most likely the oldest one in the world that’s still “on duty.” From time to time, some world-class violinists are allowed to put their hands on the priceless instrument (originally, part of a whole orchestra the Italian luthier built for the French court of Charles IX in 1566), as is the case with Marco Rizzi. In this video, the Italian virtuoso plays Schumann’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in D Minor, Op. 121.

According to Open Culture, “after leaving Charles’ court, the violin spent time in the Henry Hottinger collection, which was eventually acquired by the Wurlitzer Company in New York. In 1966, it was donated to Cremona, Italy, Amati’s birthplace and home to an international school of violin making,” but the violin has also toured around the world, from Oxford to South Dakota.

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