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Tertis model: German viola by Alois Schöttl, Ludwigshafen 1938
Tertis model: German viola by Alois Schöttl, Ludwigshafen 1938
Tertis model: German viola by Alois Schöttl, Ludwigshafen 1938
Provenance: Ludwigshafen
Maker: Alois Schöttl
Length of back: 40.0 cm
Year: 1938
Tone: Bright, clear, sweet
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Tertis model: German viola by Alois Schöttl, Ludwigshafen 1938

An experimental design by violist Lionel Tertis inspired master luthier Alois Schöttl from Ludwigshafen to craft this unconventional viola with a beautiful sound. It is an exquisite interpretation of the concept Tertis developed in conjunction with English violin maker Arthur Richardson: they made their findings available to interested luthiers and provided comprehensive documentation. The underlying idea of maximizing the sound body of the viola is an obvious and effective approach which fundamentally distinguishes this viola from other new interpretations such as the one Antoine Marius Richelme created by incorporating subtle geometric alterations. The musically significant characteristics of the Tertis viola include not only the striking broad contours but fine details such as the purfling set close to the rising table and higher ribs at a minimal interval to the margin of the top. The excellent execution of these design details shows that Alois Schöttl was an outstandingly trained and experienced luthier, although hardly anything else is known about his background and career. Finely grained spruce for the top and the gently flamed maple of the two-piece back are premium-quality tone woods coated by a delicate golden oil varnish. Subtle crackling and traces of use call attention to the fact that this instrument with its highly modern sensibility is actually a rare antique, and one which has been played by very good musicians. We carefully set up this viola at our workshop and made it ready to play, and we now offer it in top condition. The only repair that was made is minor and is concealed from view under the tailpiece. We warmly recommend it to sophisticated musicians who are looking for an instrument with an unusually open, sweet and bright voice.

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