That famous example the "Alard" exhibits all the necessary qualities to constitute it one of Stradivari's most remarkable achievements. The searcher after the ideal in tone-and there are many such-will look for the combination in one violin of absolute beauty of quality, great volume, and perfect articulation. These perfections exist in a large number of the great master's instruments, but never in the proportions to suit the hypercritical. The quality of one Stradivari does not please him, another is wanting in power, and a third does not respond easily enough to the performer. However, the "Alard" possesses these attributes as happily blended together as is possible in a violin made by mortal hands.
Antonio Stradivarius: His Life & Work, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), London