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The Secrets of the Violin

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In the documentary The Secrets of the Violin, we see the seedy underbelly of the market for the world’s most treasured violins laid bare. We visit a no man’s land of wheeling and dealing, lying and betrayal, where money is always king, and rare instruments by Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 1737) and Giuseppe Guarneri “del Gesu” (1698 – 1744) sell for up to 20 million euros a piece. Watch part three of the documentary: The Stradivarius Effect.

For centuries, violins, violas and cellos have been highly sought-after commodities, valued as sophisticated musical instruments, cultural status symbols and moneymaking opportunities. Their admirers have included a colorful cast of characters: millionaires, Russian oligarchs, violin virtuosos, serious art dealers and crooks. In part one of the documentary, Daniel Hope takes a look at Dietmar Machold, one the most important dealers of Stradivarius, arrested for embezzlement and fraud in 2011. Daniel Hope investigates this thrilling true story, interviewing Machold in prison, who tells his side of things.

Star violinist Daniel Hope knows the elite violin market like no one else. He grew up around the precious violins in Yehudi Menuhin’s house, and plays now the Guarneri violin “Ex-Lipinski”, a maker whose instruments have surpass those of his teacher Stradivari to become the most expensive and coveted today. Together with Daniel Hope, we discover the world of the super-rich collectors and superstar violinists, learning about the secrets history of string-instruments.

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