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Probably they were considered great but no one had an idea of just how great at the time. What do you think?
Strads actually went out of fashion in the late 1700's as Stainers and their type became more popular for larger venues - the Strads could not project enough for the new musical styles. The efforts of one man, Luigi Tarisio, pretty much saved the Strads, et al, from becoming no more than legends. I wrote a blog post about it on The Fiddle Project.
Mary in Lebanon, Oregon http://www.thefiddleandbanjopr.....dpress.com
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