In Love with Great Strads

Author: Poorhouse International

A documentary following superstar violinist Janine Jansen as she embarks on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play twelve of the greatest ever "Strads".

  • In Love with Great Strads | Copyright: © Poorhouse International

    © Poorhouse International

Gerald Fox's latest documentary follows world-class violinist Janine Jansen in her quest to learn more about the enigmatic figure of Antonio Stradivari and his instruments.

When Jansen was invited to test twelve of Stradivari's violins from various periods, she immediately fell in love with the “Allard”, one of the greatest PLAYABLE instruments in existence. Prize-winning filmmaker Gerald Fox followed her from Stockholm, where she performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on her own Strad, to London, where she selected work to match the assembled instruments best, learn about their histories, rehearse with Anthony Pappano and was forced in to quarantine with Covid.

While waiting for her to resume recording before the instruments had to be given back to their owners, Gerald Fox talked to leading luthiers, violin experts, owners and dealers to find out what made these instruments so outstanding. When Jansen and Pappano finally resumed recording music by Brahms, de Falla, Elgar, Kreisler, Rachmaninov, Ravel and Tchaikovsky, to name but a few, Fox captured the difficulties and joys of playing these capricious but rewarding instruments and intercut archive footage with earlier owners and performers on these very instruments including Ida Haendel, Fritz Kreisler, Nathan Milstein and Bronislav Huberman.

As these violins age and end up in museums and private collections they turn into prestigious objects and reflect the power shift of our time. Formerly mostly held in the western world, more and more of these wonderful instruments find new homes in Asia and China.

English title Falling for Stradivari
Duration 53' and 80'
Production year 2021
Production Company Asterisk Films
Director Gerald Fox


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