Although I have been featuring one instrument per post in my series of posts highlighting stringed instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, I have chosen to feature the Stradivari "Francesca" and "Gould" violins together.
Both violins were made in a two year period -- the "Gould" in 1693 and the "Francesca" in 1694. Because of this fact, both violins are both so called "long pattern" violins which, as the name suggests, means that they are longer (361mm instead of 355.5mm) and slightly narrower than Stradivari's standard violins. Stradivari built these "long pattern" violins only in the 1690s, which was believed to have been inspired by the concerti gross of Archangelo Corello, in which two solo violins had to stand out from the string section. By 1700, Stradivari had stopped making "long pattern" violins.
The "Gould" violin was named for its previous owner, the violinist George Gould. The name "Francesca" was given by the donor of the violin to the Met in honor of Stradivari's wife Francesca.
The interesting comparison is that The "Gould" and "Francesca" differ in their setups -- the "Gould" is a rare example of a Stradivari violin that has been returned to the "Baroque" setup (it was "re-Baroqued" in 1975) while the "Francesca" has a modern setup, which includes a longer fingerboard and an increased neck angle. The photos and videos below highlight the difference that these two types of setups make in both appearance and sound.
Photos and Videos - Stradivari "Gould" Violin
Photos and Videos - Stradivari "Francesca" Violin