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Searching for Mozart in the sound of his violin

A portrait of Mozart with this violin, traveling here from Salzburg for the Boston Early Music Festival.
A portrait of Mozart with this violin, traveling here from Salzburg for the Boston Early Music Festival. salzburg mozarteum foundation

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Mozart’s own violin and viola are due to arrive from Salzburg this week to make their American debuts at the Boston Early Music Festival. They will be played on an all-Mozart chamber music program on Monday night in Jordan Hall. As instruments they are somewhat humble, but exquisite craftsmanship or tone quality is not the point here. Because they were played by the great composer himself, the instruments possess an unmistakable aura. It’s nonetheless tempting to prod that aura, to dip into the instruments’ history, and to wonder, at an event like Monday’s concert, what – exactly – are we hoping to hear?

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