Happy New Year!!

For the start of 2024 I thought I would share this beautiful short video with you all.

A player who has become a friend, over the years, played viola professionally with Covent Garden Opera House in London. He shares a real interest in all things good about the past, and particularly in this field. He often sends me snippets of great players from the past, such as Rostropovich, Oistrakh and Heifetz, including players I worked for like Hugh Bean. These clips are fascinating and always capture my attention.

This black and white video that he found and shared with me was made in 1968.

I find it enchanting, rustic and fascinating to see the instrument come to life in such a simplistic way. If feels like a much earlier time, where electricity wasn’t even invented!

The screen play and direction is by Bogdan Zizic, produced by Zagred Film. It is 12mins long and allows us to delve into a back street violin makers hovel and observe him at work. A fly on the wall.

Put your feet up, take a peek, and enjoy this little gem!

More about the film:
Ivan Hus (1898 -1992) was a well-known Croatian violin maker. Not much is known about his life. During WW1 he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army and later went to Germany where he worked in one of the violin factories in Markneukirchen. After arriving in Zagreb in 1922 he made a living from playing violin and making mandolins and tamburitzas. Accounts say he travelled the world and when in France he joined the French Foreign Legion, then escaped and sailed to the far east. In 1932 he returned to Zagreb where he lived and worked. He made 112 violins and 2 violas. John Dilworth has very little to say on him but there is a short account in his book. John Dilworth, ‘The Bromptons Book of Violin and Bow Makers’, says:HUS, Ivan b.1898 Semovac, Mostar Bosnia fl. Zagreb Croatia Amateur Maker, credited with about 70 instruments on Stradivari and Guarneri models.”

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