Carlo Giuseppe Testore was born in Novara (northwest part of Italy) in 1665. He was a student of Giovanni Grancino for whose work his instruments are often mistaken. He was the best violin maker in his family but he did not make a lot of instruments. In 1697 he went to Milan where he established his workshop. His two sons Carlo Antonio and Paolo Antonio Testore were his students who worked in the workshop long time after their father’s death. Carlo’s Giuseppe Testore violin shows the influence of both Amati and Stradivari. His instruments show good strong work, but are not highly finished. Varnish is dry and of a brownish-yellow color, tone is very powerful and penetrating.
This beautiful violin was made in 1696. The original label inside reads: “Giovanni Grancino in Contrada Largha di Milano al Segno della Corona 1696”
The fine low arching is characteristic of the Milanese school.
The back is made of two pieces maple as well as the sides and the scroll. The top is made of two pieces of spruce of a narrow grain. The varnish has an orange- yellow -red color.
This violin is one of the most powerful violins I have ever played on. This is truly an instrument for a soloist. Its remarkably easy to play! Brilliant sound, incredibly quick respond and reach deep tone. It feels very light to compare to the other violins. I am especially mesmerized by the tone quality. I played on this violin using different bows such as Peccatte, Sartory, Nurnberger as well as Henry and this violin responded beautifully with any of these bows regardless the weight.
Milanese instruments have always been popular among musicians because of their expansive and full sound. Carlo Giuseppe Testore instruments are built extremely carefully and are the best example of Milanese school. This violin is simply amazing!