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20 minutes ago, martin swan said:

This whole discussion about purfling is surely tongue in cheek. I can’t imagine anyone would summarily dismiss an instrument because it had painted purfling.

 

Well yes - but in conjunction with the super-cheap Mendinis and ilk - of the violin world.

Not with bona fide antiques.

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16 hours ago, Herman West said:

Yuri Bashmet plays on a Testore viola; so does or did Shlomo Mintz on his album of Shostakovich violin / viola sonatas.

Also a great recording of the Shostakovich viola sonata by Sara Kim on youtube, on Paolo Antonio Testore. Not sure this is the same Testore as Bashmet's viola.

Nevertheless, this who business of scratched-in purfling and ugly scrolls is a sign of fast sloppy making of the instruments, not the best workmanship. This doesn't mean the sound was not good.

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3 hours ago, uguntde said:

Also a great recording of the Shostakovich viola sonata by Sara Kim on youtube, on Paolo Antonio Testore. Not sure this is the same Testore as Bashmet's viola.

 

I doubt that Bashmet would lend his axe to Kim, but indeed, Bashmet plays a viola by the younger Testore, from the year 1758.

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