For centuries we have been increasingly drawn to the Cremonese intruments by Stradivarius, Guarnarius del Gesu and Amati as the pinnacle of the craft. For most mortals including myself these instruments which often carry a six-figure sum are out of reach. However, I have recently bought at least from the same country of the masters with all its pedigree and mystique. My new violin is dated 1940 by Giovanni Gaibisso from Alassio and it’s easy to get carried away in sound description with phrases like ‘dark velvet’ and ‘creamy’…before you know it you sound like a pretentious wine connoisseur. However, within the violin market place that has no ceiling, it is nonetheless exciting to be playing a new and cultured piece of wood carving…if only they were priced on weight.