Another Reader Says “I couldn’t Put It Down”!

A Reader Review from one of my weaving students at last year’s Liturgical Arts Conference in Mississippi. After a conversation about Pavel’s Violin, she decided to order a copy.

“I also wanted to let Will know that I bought his book but didn’t have a chance to read it until my recent trip to Africa. Had plenty of time on that 18 hour flight! I almost didn’t take it with me since our luggage was limited but in the end I really wanted to get it read so felt it was worth it. And HOW! Please let Will know that I found the story of Pavel’s Violin to be most moving and engaging. I literally could not put it down once I got immersed in it.”  — N.N.

Thanks, Nancy, for your kind words, and for giving “Pavel’s Violin” a trip to Africa!

“An air of joy . . .”

A new Reader Review.  Thanks very much to “Sideliner” from Spain!

Five Stars: Beautifully Woven
on August 22, 2018
“An air of joy to a people of faith and family intertwined with an elegy to the persecution of the Jewish peoples in germanic europe. Crafted and caring it carries the reader through history on the strings of a violin that still exists today. Bravo.”

In Absam prope Oenipontum, an excerpt from “Pavel’s Violin”

The great Austrian luthier, Jakob Stainer (c. 1619-1683) used this handwritten label in all his instruments:

stainer_label

Jacobus Stainer in Absam
prope Oeinipontum 16–

“Jakob Stainer, in (the town of) Absam, near Innsbruck, (date)

And this is the title of Part I of “Pavel’s Violin,” the story of Jakob Stainer and his crafting of the very special violin.

from the title page of Part I, a quotation from Paul Stoving, in “The Story of the Violin:”

The Tyrolean fastness will guard his memory,
and the eagle will tell it to its young,
and pine to pine,
and the winds in dark recesses
will mourn the memory of Jacobus Stainer.

And the tale goes on from there:

I. Jakob Stainer and the Making of the Violin

II. In the Palaces of Bishops and Emperors

III. The Jewish Community of the Moravian Countryside

IV. The Great Olomouc (AH-lah-moats) Synagogue

V. In Terezin Concentration Camp

VI. In Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp

VII. The Violin Comes to Pavel

Will Paint  The author, playing Pavel’s violin.

An Excerpt from “Pavel’s Violin”

From Chapter 7 – A Farewell in Salzburg:

     Cervěnka played a G scale, slowly, savoring the tones. Across the room, the Kapellmeister looked up from his own work in speechless amazement, while his assistant played several measures of Biber’s new Sonata violin solo representativa. Eleven measures, perhaps, up to the 6/4 change. The two men were silent. It seemed as though the notes continued to dance around them, reluctant to fade into time or space. So moved was he by the music, Biber spoke softly the only words he could think of.
“I didn’t know you knew that piece,” he said.
“You left it lying about, and I had a look. That’s the only bit I’ve memorized.”
“You play well.”
“Thank you, Kapellmeister. It is a fine piece.” Again they fell into silence, still hearing the voice of the Violin in their thoughts. Finally, Biber spoke.
“May I . . . May I try it?”

(C) 2017 Walter William Melnyk
All Rights Reserved

Heinrich Ignatz Franz von Biber,  Kapellmeister to the Prince Bishop of Olomouc
Biber

If It’s Baroque . . .

The Violin of “Pavel’s Violin” was made by Jakob Stainer in Absam, near Innsbruck, in 1670.  In the midst of the Baroque Period, it used gut strings, and had neither chin nor shoulder rest.  The bow was shorter, lighter, and curved in the opposite direction from today’s bows.  The Stainer model I play today – which was Pavel’s – is the inspiration for “Pavel’s Violin.”  It was likely made in Bavaria in the mid-1800s.  My own violin study is now dedicated to Baroque music.

Baroque Meme