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Johann Christian Voigt II viola
Johann Christian Voigt II viola
Johann Christian Voigt II viola
18th century Markneukirchen viola by J. C. Voigt, made in 1788
18th century Markneukirchen viola by J. C. Voigt, made in 1788
Provenance: Markneukirchen
Maker: Johann Christian Voigt II
Length of back: 38.7 cm
Year: 1788
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Markneukirchen viola - Johann Christian Voigt II, 1788

In 1788 the Markneukirchen master luthier Johann Christian Voigt II created this fine viola, which is one of the more petite instruments of its kind with its body length of 38.7 cm, yet its high ribs and the excellent craftsmanship with which it was created are paired with an outstanding sound and highly precise properties, making it it a compelling choice. Like his father, Johann Friedrich Voigt I, Johann Christian Voigt gave his instruments more allure from a sales perspective by indicating that they were produced in the Bohemian metropolis of Prague, as was the case on the handwritten label of this viola. In light of its magnificent properties, however, it is hard to understand why Johann Christian Voigt II made this choice, since the viola is truly an authentic representative of the finest Markneukirchen violin making of the 18th century and impressively articulates its maker’s remarkable abilities, especially in the demanding field of the viola. This model is also clearly an instrument of indisputable Vogtland provenance and reflects the fact that Johann Christian Voigt hailed from a wide-ranging family in this classic violin-making region. Rich traces of use that are a rightful part of a well-played historic instrument help define the fascinating character of the transparent, luminous golden-brown varnish which has developed a charming patina and flatters the beautiful finely-grained spruce of the top and the two-piece back of subtly flamed maple. Kept in very good condition and painstakingly restored at our workshop, this Johann Christian Voigt viola thus tells a tale of musical history that dates back over 200 years, a period in which it found its warm and resonant voice – an attractive historic sound with a character that is both dark and sweet.

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