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  1. Thanks, yes, same group, same viola, she studies with Hartmut Rohde at the UDK Berlin, Hartmut asked me to make a viola to her. Hartmut has among his pupils 10 principal violas, 4 violists in the Berlin Phil, and the principal viola of the Gewandhauss Leipzig, quite a good teacher.
  2. Oh, I am afraid I will not be able to fit pegs again....
  3. Viola, f holes placing. M4V09446.MP4
  4. Charles Beare talked about French polishing in the Dartington Conference, 1995: "It`s not uncommon these days to see fine instruments with layer upon layer of grey/green discolouring French polish built up year after year as part of their regular overhaul, which far exceeds in thickness and hardness the original varnish which may still be seen underneath with the aid of a strong light. Most of the Stradivaris and Guarneris in the USA have this - and I once asked a leading American restorer, a good friend from the old Wurlitzer days, why he and his companions were giving the violins that were entrusted to them this patent leather look, "If I don`t do it, the customer won`t accept the job" was his reply. "They want it to shine all over; if there is a dull spot they bring it back and complain". Surely this is a case for re-educating these customers. I fear there are many in our trade, as well as the customers, who are unaware of the beauty of unpolished Italian varnish, who don`t recognize it when they see it. It`s like fine wine, the taste comes with experience and is none the less valuable for that. omissis Obviously the purer (the varnish) it is the better, and I would say that French polishing, which is still a habit of one or two of the bigger institutions in the USA has actually almost irretrievably damaged perhaps to a minor extent a large number of instruments. It is being fought against by many of the younger makers. "
  5. The best violin cleaner/polisher is that one the player NEVER USES! Use just a soft rag, leave all the cleaning to a luthier, if it is necessary. Del Gesù's Paganini's violin has some dark rosin over the table, the restorers decided to left it as it is.
  6. I saw the whole concert.... the level of the players was darn good.
  7. Thanks! I don't know what instruments the violinist and cellist are playing...
  8. One of my violas played at the UDK Berlin today, in a string trio.
  9. Thanks PhilipKT! To illustrate what I said, here one of my 16-inch violas with an student of Hartmut Rohde at the UDK Berlin, orchestral excerpts, this girl is principal viola of the European Union Youth Orchestra.
  10. Focused is the contrary of hollow. Clarity is like the diction of a good singer, you can listen clearly the words, they will not mix. Response is the time the instruments starts to sound under the bow. Many good instruments have wolves, the problem is when you can't control them.
  11. 15K for a viola without attribution is a bit too much, unless the sound and playability are exceptional. Here my two cents about choosing a good viola, as a player and viola maker. Avoid monochrome instruments. Look for many colours and contrast, you can have that only when you have a good dynamic range. With a good viola you can work with the bow to create colours. In most violas you will change your bowing and nothing will happen. With a good viola when you draw your bow from the fingerboard towards the bridge increasing the weight you will notice a big change in volume and colour of the sound. Just good instruments offer that. The viola must not choke when you play FFF near the bridge. Avoid hollow sound, look for a focused sound. Clarity is important too, when playing quick passages the notes should not mix. Check the instrument in the upper regions of the C and G strings. You may not be using the 7th positions of the C string now but as you start studying more difficult pieces you will have to do that. Just good violas will sound good in high positions of the C string, in general you will have many wolves and rasped notes there. Playing confort: not only the size matters here but also string length, upper bouts width, rib height, weight, feeling "under the chin". Try to play in high positions of the C string. Look for a quick response too.
  12. Yep, and the instrument returns with worn strings...
  13. Many players borrow a fine instrument for the audition...