Violin Scroll IV
Violin Scroll IV • this painting is sold
The Red Violin
The film tells the story of a perfect violin known as 'The Red Violin' for its rich red colour. At the film's beginning, the violin is being auctioned in Canada. As the bidding starts, the violin's history is revealed, showing that the violin has been in existence for over 300 years, having been made in 1681. Its history is told in five locations around the world: Cremona, Italy; Vienna; Oxford; Shanghai; and Montreal. To its owners, the violin causes anger, betrayal, love, and sacrifice. In each setting the dialogue is spoken in the appropriate language. Also, a variation of the movie's signature violin solo is played at least once in the period it is played, with the exception of Cremona, where the solo is being hummed by Anna herself. Throughout the movie, the solos are played by noted violinist Joshua Bell.
The film was inspired by one of Stradivarius's violins, the Red Mendelssohn (1720), which is currently played by Elizabeth Pitcairn, whose grandfather purchased it for her 16th birthday for $1.7 million at auction at Christie's London. She is one of the few soloists who performs the Red Violin Chaconne composed for the film by John Corigliano. The notion that the violin is red because it is painted with the blood of the maker's wife, who died during childbirth, is a creation of the filmmaker and is unsubstantiated. It is called "The Red Mendelssohn" because of a unique red stripe on its top right side, but how the stripe came about is unknown.
The Red Violin painting by Ann Elizabeth Schlegel • this painting was featured at Symphony Hall where Elizabeth Pitcairn played her Red Violin and performed the Red Violin Chaconne composed for the film by John Corigliano.
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