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Tarisio 17inch + viola


Omobono
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Just looking at this viola, currently on view at Tarisio,

it would appear a difficult instrument to manage and play

at 17 inches plus, wouldn't you think? But maybe I'm wrong about that because the narrower upper bouts may make it easier to access the higher positions for the left hand?

This size is the same as our friend Manfio is advocating here and is very happy with.

Somehow to me the larger instruments seem best following the broarder Andrea Guarneri

model rather than this stlye or the deeper ribs of a Tertis design

(This looks long but not quite like a long Strad either - following Landolfi possibly?)

Yet big violas are often snapped up when many of the other offerings at auctions

tend to be on the smaller side. I would be inteersted to hear from anyone who has the chance

to see and play this one.

tarisioviolabe3.jpg

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It's lot 121. Interesting instrument... good wood selection, good varnish, but big size does not mean big sound allways.

Tarisio sold a quite insteresting 17 inches Becker viola sometime ago for about 50K, if I'm not wrong. The market for big violas is not so small as many think.

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Three weeks ago, Pul Silverthorne, the principal violist of the London Philharmonic(or symphony, not sure which) Perfeomed the Walton concerto with us. What a wonderful piece!

He is so tall & thin it was difficult to guage the size but he was playing a huge viola, and it sounded enormous. Huge. Incredible. I went to him after the rehearsal and asked"Is that a 17?"

He answered with a smile,"..and three quarters."

Wow... 17 3/4 inch viola...and it is a Brothers Amati from 1690...

what a great instrument that is.

I asked if it didn't cause him any problems because of the size, and he laughed and said,"Well, i'm not keen on Bruckner."

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Hi! Yes, if the player is tall enougth, why not playing a big instrument?

I don't agree with small players struggling with a big instrument, but in the case of very tall players, they have no problem with the size.

It was Michael Tree who urged me to make big violas... he is not all that tall but has long arms. It took me 10 years to follow his advice... now I'm making just 43 cms. violas.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
PhilipKT

Paul Silverthorne, was playing a huge viola, and it sounded enormous. Huge.

Incredible. I went to him after the rehearsal and asked"Is that a 17?"

He answered with a smile,"..and three quarters."

Wow... 17 3/4 inch viola...and it is a Brothers Amati from 1690...


If I'm not mistaken there was a Strad article years ago about Paul Silverstone and the Amati viola. When he was at the Royal Academy of Music(?) He saw other players have the use of Academy instruments and on asking if there was not a viola available was shown the massive Brothers Amati in the store room which no one else could handle or was interested in. Love at first sight?

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Hey, I´ve got some info to contribute here...

A book about the Royal Academy Collection by David

Rattray includes a list of recordings played on instruments

shown in the book. That Brothers Amati 1620 viola (44,9 cm) is

mentioned and pictured too, have a look at that brilliant photo. I

like the way the picture is taken, makes the viola look even

longer.

This Discopgraphy also states Mr. Silverthornes name underneath a

list of recordings played on the Archinto viola by the way.

And here comes the bottom line(s) from the actual text about that

Brothers Amati viola: The powerful sound and wide range of tone

colour of the instrument led Paul Silverthorne to adapt to

it´s size in 1982. Once he had explored and developed its

tonal possibilities, the viola became and integral part of his

performing. The combination has led to several new works, including

"After Ariadne" by Richard Rodney Bennet, "Echo of the wind" by

Elisabeth Lutyens for solo viola, and a viola concerto by Robert

Saxton.Seems like love at first sight leading to a lifelong

relationship

martina

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makers make copies of things like the Amati tenor viola in the Ashmolean Museum

but I cannot see anybody playing them much.

I played one such copy of the 'beast' -(19inches?)

I am not small but it was just possible to hold it almost vertical

and play a few notes in the first position. (The baroque neck did not help either)

tenoruv6.jpg

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Omobono

makers make copies of things like the Amati tenor viola in the Ashmolean Museum

but I cannot see anybody playing them much.

I played one such copy of the 'beast' -(19inches?)

I am not small but it was just possible to hold it almost vertical

and play a few notes in the first position. (The baroque neck did not help either)


Maybe they're meant to be held and played as though a cello? Balanced on the thigh rather than the floor, of course.

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quote:


Maybe they're meant to be held and played as though a cello? Balanced on the thigh rather than the floor, of course.

Possibly, but I think 18-19 inches was still within the realms of playability - for parts not requiring a high degree of technical proficiency.

This article from Maestronet library has some interesting info in the subject:

http://www.maestronet.com/m_li...violinist/19431205.pdf

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Hi, I saw that and is very nice, but did anyone look at the Jan Juzek violin. It isn't setup properly and has no bids. This is one of the original ones with John Juzek's original label. It looks like a very good violin but has a very poor setup. This should good very low but I spoke with the Adam Juzek andhe said it is the original label that John Juzek used. Very rare Jan Juzek violin. Let me know what you think.

Thanks, David

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  • 1 month later...

I have long arms and large hands, and my violin teacher spent considerable effort trying to convince me that I should play the viola -- advice which I ignored (and now wish I had not). Any rate, a couple of years ago, I decided to try viola, and I got a very nice 17" viola from a Chinese supplier, which I liked quite a bit. However, the price of 17-inch strings was truly shocking, and I checked into getting a supply of extra-long-scale strings, thinking that I might make some money selling them. I did find a supplier that made them, and I tried them out, and found them to be acceptable -- and priced low enough so that I thought I could sell them. However, so far, the response to these strings has been truly disappointing. Have I greatly overestimated the market for these?

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I make my 17 inches violas (you can see photos of one in the link below) but they have a "normal",

375 milimeters string length, so that I can strung them with normal strings, Evahs with a Larsen A being

my current choice.

What's the brand of your extra long strings?

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I have several large violas and have a pretty good idea of what strings are available and what work well. What is the string length of your viola? I have two ~17.5 inch instruments both with string lengths of ~16 inches. For these standard Tonicas fit and work well, but only light tension, as a general rule you will have to stick with light tension on whatever commercial string you buy if your string length is much past 15.5 inches, but it can vary, some instruments might like mediums. Evas and Obligatos also fit (barely-I think I hade to trim back the threads on one of them) but I didn't like them, even the lighter tensions were a bit tight. Dominants also barely fit (except the C) and work OK, also light tension. Dominants make an extra long C, but only in medium, it may work ok. For the A string the Jargar light tension is both long enough and light enough to work well on most 17.5 inch instruments (they will also make customs pretty cheap). Unless your viola has a really unusually long string length all of the above should work.

D'Addario makes three strings that will definitely fit your instrument and are reasonably priced. Pro-art, Zyex and Helicores all come in long scale. These are very long strings and actually all fit on my really large (almost 19 inch) inch Strad model viola that has a 17 inch string length. Funny, they are advertised as being for 16 inch plus instruments, I always wondered if that meant string length or viola size, there would be a lot of string wound the pegs if you put them on a 16 inch viola. The Pro-arts are lightest tension and actually work very well on that giant instrument. Again start out with light tension, although mediums might work well, particularly the pro-arts. D'Addario also makes an extra long set in Helicores, these would probably be too long for your viola, and they only come in medium, I think these would work well on a vertical viola.

I would guess that a good first choice for a 17+ Chinese viola would be long scale light Helicores.

Supersensitive makes an extra-long extra-light set of Sensicores that will unquestionably fit your viola, and would probably be too long. Reasonable price. I didn't like them on my big Strad, but they might work on your Chinese instrument. They would probably also be a good choice for a vertical viola.

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My much beloved and respected teacher David Holland plays an 18

3/4" viola, it is a Ritter I belive.  It has the proportions

of a large violin rather than a viola.  Mr. Holland is 6'7"

tall so the big boy is just a toy for him.  When I was at the

International Viola Congress about 10 years ago many of the dealers

were of the opinion that anything over 16" would be hard to sell.

 My instrument (Severin Schurger Ann Arbor 1976) is 16 5/8"

and It is very playable for me at 6'2". Strings could be a real

problem as I can always remember that one of my strings (dominants)

was always a bit short at first (C or G).

Dwight

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Yes, in my model the bridge and neck are set to give a confortable string length of 375 milimeters, equivalent to the string length of many smaller violas. The neck is the standart 150 milimeters. You can have an idea of the proportions with this front view of one of them:

465247185_0443e919fa.jpg

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