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Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald - two piece viola back
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald - two piece viola back
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald - viola ribs
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald - viola ribs
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald - viola scroll
Matthias Hornsteiner Mittenwald - viola scroll
Provenance: Mittenwald
Maker: Matthias Hornsteiner
Length of back: 38.2 cm
Year: 1802
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Fine Mittenwald viola, Matthias Hornsteiner, 1802

Inspired by the model of his teacher Georg II Klotz, Mittenwald violin maker Matthias Hornsteiner made this full-voiced viola in 1802 – a truly interesting instrument from later in his oeuvre with which he demonstrates his artisanal virtuosity while also paying full tribute to the Mittenwald violin-making tradition. Hornsteiner distinguished himself from other contemporaries of the same name by continuing to pursue his other work as a highly regarded blacksmith to the court; he belonged to the wide-ranging dynasty of luthiers who provided important sources of inspiration to his guild, setting accents that transcended regional boundaries and paved the way into modern times. The playful yet elegant style of this violin is defined by a Baroque lushness that is clearly to be interpreted as reminiscent of the classic work of the Klotz family – the other traditional Mittenwald family which established a name for themselves alongside the Hornsteiners as independent and greatly successful masters. The distinctive style of an experienced hand is beautifully articulated in the delicately crafted scroll and the charming wealth of details seen in the sound holes. Matthias Hornsteiner chose the excellent woods with great musical sensitivity, thus laying the cornerstone the exceptionally good acoustic properties of this viola. The top-quality moderately grained spruce for which the Karwendel region is still famous to this day as well as the gently flamed maple are both coated with a magnificently aged varnish and a delightful patina that plays off the nuances of the grain on the top and back. This viola, which has been preserved in outstanding condition and kept crack-free, is a charming surprise not only because of its comparatively small size which makes it very comfortable to play; it also features a strong and mature sound which develops a pleasant warmth, great precision and radiance. This reliable historic instrument is now ready to play after having been carefully set up at our workshop. Its gentle but very well-balanced and perfectly rounded character is compelling.

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