Modern Violas Based on The Stradivari CV form


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How do modern violas based on the Stradivari CV form work out.  I am under the impression that the CV form viola is not very popular with viola makers.  I have heard of widening a bit from the middle and perhaps other alterations.  They are not terrible short, A bit over 16"/407mm  The Archinto is 413.5mm so LOB is no big problem as there are lots of good playable violas this size.  Is it they are too slim or do not have enough internal volume?  I find the model visually very beautiful and of course they are all wonderfully made.  They are not the paragon of violists.  We usually like something earlier or at least different.  I would love to hear from makers who have built on the CV form and have had good or bad luck with it.

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

dlb

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You are right Dwight, the Strad model is not popular with viola makers. The exception is in Italy, many Italian makers use the Strad model for its elegant forms.

 

Violas are hard to make, in general the C string is dead, the dynamic range is too narrow and the response slow.

 

A good sounding Strad model viola may sound good but if the maker chooses another model his possibilities of making a good sounding viola will increase, I think.

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You are right Dwight, the Strad model is not popular with viola makers. The exception is in Italy, many Italian makers use the Strad model for its elegant forms.

 

Violas are hard to make, in general the C string is dead, the dynamic range is too narrow and the response slow.

 

A good sounding Strad model viola may sound good but if the maker chooses another model his possibilities of making a good sounding viola will increase, I think.

 

Is it because of the narrow middle?

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Antoine Nédélec won a Gold medal for his Strad model viola. He posts here occasionally.

 

http://www.antoinenedelec.com/antoinenedelec.com/Strad_model_Viola_2012.html

Daryl, I looked at it.  It's is beautiful to be sure.  What model are you using for violas.  The work on your sight is very nice indeed.

 

dlb

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I think that the Strad model isn't popular due to the fact that the internal air chamber in relation to the vibrating string length is askew from ideal. The violin is so powerful because it has so many things that just work in harmony. The viola, in order to make it a size playable by a normal human must deviate from these ideal proportions and ratios. I've heard somewhere that in order to meet the same acoustic properties of the violin a viola would have to have like a 23" body, which is like a small cello. There are large violas that you can get that fall under this size, but they are played with a cello technique, and also sometimes have an endpin. This is why violas have no standard measurements, and specialist viola makers can be found. The Strad model viola seems to have the dimensions of a scaled-up violin from my perspective. I own a Strad model viola and in real life this can be further observed. The Lionel Tertis model is regarded as a great design, I would imagine due to the super wide middle bouts and deep ribs. Strad's violas, from my limited point of view, are kind of like large violins, and so they may or may not exibit the qualities ingerent for a violin, thus not catering to the unique need of the viola. Violas historically have been all over the map in terms of design, in order to find the magic formula for success, but no one seems to have devised a design that we all can agree upon. There's the Tertis model, with it's wide waist and deep ribs. There's the Pellagrina model, with it's weird lumpy goiters on the top and bottom bouts. Let's not forget the super wide J.B.Vuillaume viola. But anyways this is merely my speculation on the matter.

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A lot of crap re Strad viola with no real experience.here so far. 

The later ones seem to work better. The Archinto was not liked  by the Lindsay Quartet for being too contralto........The Archinto is cut down....The later ones work well.......

I was thinking of the very last one, The Gibson.  It also has a violin type pegbox instead of a 'cello one.

 

 

x.gifFIT TO SCREENFULL SIZE
 
 
 
 
dlb
 
Cozio has all 11 of them.  I enjoyed John Dilworth's articles on them.  I really do not see anything that is all that different from any other 411mm viola.  Maybe a little more narrow, but I will have to make myself a Neolithic spreadsheet and compare more dimensions .
 
 
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I was thinking of the very last one, The Gibson.  It also has a violin type pegbox instead of a 'cello one.

 

 

x.gifFIT TO SCREENFULL SIZE
 
 
 
 
dlb
 
Cozio has all 11 of them.  I enjoyed John Dilworth's articles on them.  I really do not see anything that is all that different from any other 411mm viola.  Maybe a little more narrow, but I will have to make myself a Neolithic spreadsheet and compare more dimensions .
 
 

 

Great topic! I want to build CV Strad viola, so this discusion is very helpful (now I have only ready mould and templates).

 

Nice photo of Gibson viola - have You more? And can You give here a link for J. Dilworth's articles?

Thanks!

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Although I am more inclined to prefer both visually and tonally the forms of Andrea Guarneri violas, I must admit that these two are not bad .....

Maybe too "contralto", but I recently heard the Russian viola (the concert that you see in the video and others who were held here in Cremona with the same viola played by Aaron Carpenter and Simone Gramaglia) and I must say that I was positively surprised for its quality.

 

 

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I think that the Strad model isn't popular due to the fact that the internal air chamber in relation to the vibrating string length is askew from ideal. The violin is so powerful because it has so many things that just work in harmony. The viola, in order to make it a size playable by a normal human must deviate from these ideal proportions and ratios. I've heard somewhere that in order to meet the same acoustic properties of the violin a viola would have to have like a 23" body, which is like a small cello. There are large violas that you can get that fall under this size, but they are played with a cello technique, and also sometimes have an endpin. This is why violas have no standard measurements, and specialist viola makers can be found. The Strad model viola seems to have the dimensions of a scaled-up violin from my perspective. I own a Strad model viola and in real life this can be further observed. The Lionel Tertis model is regarded as a great design, I would imagine due to the super wide middle bouts and deep ribs. Strad's violas, from my limited point of view, are kind of like large violins, and so they may or may not exibit the qualities ingerent for a violin, thus not catering to the unique need of the viola. Violas historically have been all over the map in terms of design, in order to find the magic formula for success, but no one seems to have devised a design that we all can agree upon. There's the Tertis model, with it's wide waist and deep ribs. There's the Pellagrina model, with it's weird lumpy goiters on the top and bottom bouts. Let's not forget the super wide J.B.Vuillaume viola. But anyways this is merely my speculation on the matter.

Are the D and A strings louder on a violin than on a viola? 

 

I would guess that the larger and heavier plates of a viola would produce less sound output.  Do the G and C strings benefit from the larger viola sizes and the D and A strings get weaker with larger size?

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 Cremona with the same viola played by Aaron Carpenter and Simone Gramaglia) and I must say that I was positively surprised for its quality.

 

I confirm. I made a trip in 1973 in Moscow and saw that instrument. I do not particularly impressed, but the sound was magnificent. The gentleman, on the left,  playing the instrument every day(1973...).

 

smallex_032.jpg

 

smallex_033.jpg

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http://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/cozio-carteggio/stradivaris-violas-part-i/

 

Here is part one of the article by John Dilworth.  There are lots of good articles on cozio carteggio .

 

 

dlb

 

It starts out with the Gustav Mahler.  It is not one of the usual CV violas,  The wood on the back is very different from about anything else I have seen.

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Are the D and A strings louder on a violin than on a viola? 

 

I would guess that the larger and heavier plates of a viola would produce less sound output.  Do the G and C strings benefit from the larger viola sizes and the D and A strings get weaker with larger size?

 

My son's viola teacher has a big viola (probably a 16.5"). Its A and D sound weaker than my son's small viola but the G and C are deep and sonorous. I prefer something in between the two.

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Antoine Tamestit is playing Harold in Italy here with our State Orchestra so I had the oportunity to meet him for some viola test drive, and see and listen to the "Mahler" Strad viola.

 

He produces a beautifull sound on it. The instrument is in mint condition with lots of coloured varnish. As mentioned by the Hills the head is not in proportion to the body, being oversized.

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Antoine Tamestit is playing Harold in Italy here with our State Orchestra so I had the oportunity to meet him for some viola test drive, and see and listen to the "Mahler" Strad viola.

 

He produces a beautifull sound on it. The instrument is in mint condition with lots of coloured varnish. As mentioned by the Hills the head is not in proportion to the body, being oversized.

How exciting!  I love Harold in Italy.  I remember when my college teacher said I could work on it, I thought I had arrived!  I think the Mahler is pretty special and probably worth a try, it is a one of a kind and as far as I know the earliest Stradivari viola. 

 

dlb

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Question about Stradivaris 1672 "Mahler" viola. From what wood are made scroll (looks like poplar or willow - but it is too soft, no?) and sides (maple without flames or beech) ?

On Cozio sites are not much information - only about plates and some dimensions.

Thanks!

 

 

post-76349-0-32571000-1439548480_thumb.jpeg

 

 

PS. Do You someone know, how download big photos from Cozio - or it is for watching only?

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Question about Stradivaris 1672 "Mahler" viola. From what wood are made scroll (looks like poplar or willow - but it is too soft, no?) and sides (maple without flames or beech) ?

On Cozio sites are not much information - only about plates and some dimensions.

Thanks!

 

 

attachicon.gifStrad-Mahler-viola-back-and-front-e1410259489518.jpeg

 

 

PS. Do You someone know, how download big photos from Cozio - or it is for watching only?

 

To me it seems the same wood as the back, i.e. poplar, probably cypress poplar.

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