Friday, June 01, 2007

Ernst Heinrich Roth



Ernst Heinrich Roth (1877-1948) was a German luthier and master of a large and successful violin-making workshop in the East German town of Markneukirchen, near the current border with the Czech Republic. He was the most important figure in a whole dynasty of Roth luthiers active in Germany over many generations and to this day. (from Wikipedia)

When I was a boy, my mother saved up to buy me a nice violin. I had been playing since I ws about seven years old. A friend of mine who played more seriously (and still plays) always told me he liked the sound of that particular violin. I played this violin maybe five years, until I discovered girls and rock-n-roll, and quit playing violin. I was maybe eighteen. The violin sat for several years. I wouldn't play it. I wanted to loan it to the friend who appreciated the sound, but my mom would not let me.

I've had the violin in my house for many years now, and mostly it still sits. But I got it out today. Last month at the Maker Faire I got to saw away on a electronic cello, it felt good to draw a bow across a string. Also last month, at a service for a friend who died, two people played a beautiful violin duet. It was the first time in a while that I had heard violin being played.

So, I got the violin out today, and messed around for a bit, alone in the house, and it sounded good. Of course all my skills are gone, but hearing that instrument play sounded good. I think the violin appreciated it too, getting to stretch its wings for a bit.

So, after I played, I got curious and looked inside to see who the maker was, of this violin my mother saved up to buy me. Then I googled his name, to learn his story.

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