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Rijsemus, luthiers January 19, 2021.
January 19, 2021. Rijsemus violins. As a perfect extension to the Fretting Friday interview with Frank Steijns (click HERE), The Limburger posted an article about father and son luthiers Rijsemus from Maastricht. Author: René Willems, photo credits: Jean-Pierre Geussens and The Limburger. “It is a nice idea that in three hundred years there will still be real Rijsemusses in this world”. Martin Rijsemus has been building violins for over forty years in Maastricht and now together with son Niels. A lot of prominent violinists play a Rijsemus. Even André Rieu has one. Did you notice that the violin has been made more popular in Maastricht because of André Rieu, just as all the girls wanted to play the flute at the time when they saw Berdien Stenberg on TV? Father Rijsemus: “You can see that effect, yes. Especially among the youth, of course.” That is also good for your business on the Maastrichter Heidenstraat, we believe. Son Niels: “Sure. You know you are not going to become rich from violin making. Very quickly there is three hundred Euros worth of wood worked into one. And when you realize that, it can easily take you three to four hundred hours of work, you know that you are barely earning five Euros an hour if you sell such an instrument for let’s say about ten thousand Euros. We have to primarily focus on repairing violins.” But it should still make you feel proud when you see a violinist with a real Rijsemus on stage, or even on TV. Father Martin: “Of course. And what I really like is that you know that our violins can easily last two or three centuries. In other words: in 300 years there will still be Rijsemus violins.” How do connoisseurs recognize violins that come from your studio in the city center of Maastricht? Son Niels: “When you look very closely, you can see that the curl of our violins is slightly different. And on the inside our brand is burned into it. But you only see that when you have the violin in your hands.” Can you hear the difference? Do your violins sound different from others? Father Martin: “Hardly. In principle, violins have been the same for centuries, and they sound the same. In that sense there is also little difference between a Stradivarius and a violin from our time. They tested that once in a large concert hall, where modern violins were even more appreciated than the Stradivarius.” Still, collectors easily pay a few million for a Stradivarius. Rieu is even considering saving his orchestra during corona time by selling his own Stradivarius. Son Niels: "He could also sell his Rijsemusses, but then he would probably only last half an hour longer….” Father Martin: “That difference in price may be unfair, yes. But oh well, that ultimately is true in the end for so many of us in this life.”
Maastrichter Heidenstraat
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