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Old 17" viola


kostas

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It looks like it was reduced substantially at some point, with some wood removed from the middle, and a crescent shaped section removed from the upper bout (I can't tell on the lower bout). I'm not sure I'd venture a guess as to it's origin, but it looks like it started out the size of a tenor.

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Since the viola appears to have been “cut down” and thus changed in a major way, it will hardly be possible to investigate forensically what it originally was. One should also know that such “copies” were made that originally pretended to be a changed (inevitably Italian) antique instrument. I illustrated one years ago from Strnad (yours is NOT a Strnad), which had originally been made to look like a cut down old viola. Thus one gets what seems to be an old cut down viola, but on the other hand doesn’t seem that old either. I wonder if yours isn’t something like that. You may find my Strnad example here https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/329936-questions-for-mr-saundersand-for-all-others-interested-of-course/&do=findComment&comment=615189

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This viola was had a major repair from Josef Krenn a well.known luthier in Vienna 1946.May be he cut the viola..The bassbar made from Kaloferov Sofia..The       " new" purfiling in the top is very similar with the decoration at the back...if that helps.The instrument has a very powerful tone!

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I remain perplexed.

I understand the desire for antique instruments and the resulting fakes that are created to meet that demand.

I still don't understand why anyone would want a cutdown viola, never mind the demand for those being so great that fakes were made.

That's like wanting cut-down hand-me-down clothing.  It's one thing to have to wear them, quite another to demand them.

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1 minute ago, Rue said:

I still don't understand why anyone would want a cutdown viola, 

To make it more playable by more people. In the old days it was the practical thing to do. There were few museums and collectors back when much of it was done.  These days its certainly frowned upon, but still happens from time to time.

What's amazing is that some modern makers copy the cut down versions of old violas.  Much great music has been played, and still is, on old cut down violas. They have been successful, to a large degree, and many produce what we now think of as a fine viola tone.

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55 minutes ago, Rue said:

 

That's like wanting cut-down hand-me-down clothing.  It's one thing to have to wear them, quite another to demand them.

My hypothesis is that this instrument, which IMO isn’t so old, perhaps 19thC., was made new as a cut down “Italian” viola, so that some gullible person can think they are “cutting above the orchestra” on their “Solliani”, rather than joining the ranks with a Markneukirchen box. One sees people wearing otherwise newish jeans with deliberately frayed and ripped parts too, so there is no limit to thick behaviour

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For myself speaking i love this viola .is full of character.The thing that is cutten just give some music history in the instrument.This instrument when it was young and big,could play only orchertal and chamber parts but now it can play a Bartok concerto.Have in mind that now is 44 cm!If it was 47?I dont want to think about!

Rue is right but have in mind that if you have a wonderful coat that does not suit you anymore you can go to a taylor to make it for you.

If you have the money, you buy a new one,new size, or you go to the taylor!

One in the past told me that many alto end tenor gambas turned to violas.The other way was to be destroyed in a cabinet waiting 200 gears Harnoncourt and the Kuijens to descover them!

Sorry for my bad english

I hope you understand!

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Ha! Thought it was some part of an instrument experts use to call!.I believe you are absolute right  about the age of this viola...i bought it as a "german" made, of the 19th century with a fake italian label - looks german sounds german!( The name of Soliani just mentioned  because i succed to read the label  two days ago)

Just hopping someome  more experienced ( i am just a middle range orchestra player) could give some ideas about the origin and the value of her.

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  • 2 years later...

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