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Jan Kudenowski, Italian viola, Cremona, Viola No. 45 - top
Jan Kudenowski, Italian viola, Cremona, Viola No. 45 - top
Jan Kudenowski, Italian viola, Cremona, Viola No. 45 - top
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Provenance: Birmingham
Maker: Jan Kudenowski
Length of back: 42.1 cm
Year: 1976
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Jan Kudenowski, Italian viola of Cremona, Viola No. 45

Jan Kudenowski's viola No. 45 is a faithful and perfectly executed expression of modern Italian violin-making. It is a piece in the tradition of great teachers such as Simone Fernando Sacconi und Francesco Bissolotti, both of whom influenced Jan Kudenowski as a young student of the Cremonese violin-making school. He studied there from 1969-71 on a state scholarship from his home country of Poland, where he had already made a good name for himself as a student of esteemed masters and an employee of Jan Karon. For another seven years, Kudenowski worked at Thomas Smith Violins in Birmingham, one of Great Britain's best names for fine stringed instruments. It was during that period that this viola was crafted, and the instrument still bears the personally issued dated and numbered original label. It is strongly reminiscent of Cremona in no small part because of its soft oil varnish with a powerfully radiant golden-yellow which emphasises the outstanding quality of the tone woods. Spruce of exceptionally fine and even grain was used for the top, whilst exquisite flamed maple makes up the two-piece back. The instrument has been maintained in excellent condition, and flawless artisanry is evident in every detail, not least because of the remarkable responsiveness with which the viola develops its bright, powerful voice. Warm and clear, resonant and brilliant, its sound will satisfy the most exacting standards, and it originally belonged to a professional musician. After having been carefully set up by the specialists at our restoration atelier, it is now ready to play. We give this viola our highest recommendation.

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