Guiseppe Guarneri del Gesù
Cremona 1740, The "Ysaye"
The Guarneri (del Gesù) concept represents quite a radical step outside well established tradition. It is perceivably inspired by Brescians as well as Stradivari's influence. Conceptually, these instruments can be thought of as a complete opposite, the inverse of the Amati concept, who's style was prevalent for generations in Guarneri's family.

  • Extremely focused tone
  • Narrow/Compressed range of tone dynamics - not easy to handle.
  • Constant spectrum of upper harmonics ('ghost' tone).
  • Distinctive 'glossiness' of tone
  • Excellent projection.
  • Linear power response.

Despite the seeming constraint of the sound spectrum comparing to Strads, these are the only instruments that are capable of withstanding the `brutal` assault of the symphony orchestra.

  Audio Sample    Guarneri, 1740   played by Heifetz (1952)

Associated with Paganini and his `magic`, these violins became highly sought after during the period of late Romanticism.
The violinists who played Guarneri violins preferred these instruments to Strads due to their resilience to an ‘aggressive’ style of playing, their dramatic, focused tone, outstanding projection and predictable (linear) power response.

The list of the musicians who played on Guarneri del Gesù instruments include Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaak Stern, Leonid Kogan.

The voice equivalent of the Guarneri del Gesù instruments is very difficult to define. The closest equivalent would be - Castrati (soprano).