NL_Instrumente Stradivari
Instrumente der Stradivari Stiftung Habisreutinger

Exclusive sound with exceptional instruments

Enjoy the Stradivarius Trio can at Klosters Music in the “Funkenschlag” concert with works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Ernest von Dohnányi.

Rolf Habisreutinger (1908-1991) actually wanted to become a professional cellist. But his father persuaded him to take over the textile company. As a consolation he was given a Guarneri cello as a gift – his passion for collecting exceptional string instruments was kindled. But it had to be the best and most famous instruments in the world: those of the legendary violin maker Antonio Stradivari from Cremona. Today, the Stradivari Foundation Habisreutinger, founded in 1964 and based in St. Gallen, owns two violins, two violas and two cellos by the famous violin maker, making it the largest private Stradivari collection in Europe. There are only ten violas by the genius left in the world, which increases the exclusivity of the collection even more.

It was important to Rolf Habisreutinger that his instruments should not be relegated to an existence as purely valuable investments kept in safes, but that they should be played and their sound enjoyed by audiences. That is why all six instruments are on loan to selected artists. The concert entitled “Funkenschlag” will feature “Aurea”, “Gustav Mahler” and “Bonamy Dobree-Suggia”. The violin “Aurea”, built in 1715 and currently played by Veronika Eberle, captivates with great sonority and a fine, golden tone. The viola “Gustav Mahler” from 1672 came into the Habisreutinger Collection on 7 July 1960, Gustav Mahler’s 100th birthday, and thus received its name. It is the oldest of a total of ten Stradivari violas still in existence and is at the disposal of the French violist Antoine Tamestit. Finally, Sol Gabetta will play the famous “Bonamy Dobree-Suggia” violoncello (1717), once owned by the cellist Guilhermina Suggia, Pablo Casals’ partner.

All three musicians are preeminent artistic personalities who can be heard around the world with the significant solo works of the repertoire. Veronika Eberle, Antoine Tamestit and Sol Gabetta also devote themselves extensively to chamber music – with the Solsberg Festival, the Argentinian cellist even has her own chamber music festival, where she performs in very different formations. At Klosters Music, they unite in the Stradivarius Trio to form a special ensemble that promises an extraordinary sound experience, not least because of the homogeneity and brilliance of the Stradivari instruments. In the Duet for Viola and Violoncello in E-flat major “with two obligatory eyeglasses” (c. 1796) by Ludwig van Beethoven, the two instruments come face to face. Who the spectacle-wearers were whom the short-sighted Beethoven addressed in the humorous title is not known – perhaps he had intended himself for the viola part. In the Trio in G major op. 9 No. 1 for violin, viola and violoncello, published in 1798, Beethoven also uses the instruments equally for long stretches in all four movements. Ernst von Dohnányi’s five-movement Serenade in C major op. 10, composed in 1903, was inspired by Beethoven’s Serenade op. 8. Like the latter, it begins with a Marcia – a variation movement also appears in both serenades. There are short intermezzi by Johann Sebastian Bach and György Kurtág between the larger works. Moments to pause. And an opportunity to listen to the unique sound of the Stradivarius.

Spirits of Delight

Friday, July 4 2023, 5 pm, Concert Hall, Arena Klosters

Stradivarius Trio
Veronika Eberle, Violine («Aurea» 1715*)
Antoine Tamestit, Viola («Gustav Mahler» 1672*)
Sol Gabetta, Violoncello («Suggia» 1717*)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Ernst von Dohnányi (1877–1960)