Antique baroque viola, Mittenwald mid 19th century

This baroque viola made around 1850 in Mittenwald is a dynamic and expressive instrument from the annals of southern German violin-making, this interesting baroque viola has a sound of appealing warmth, volume, mellowness and strength, more than “quiet but with a sweet sharpness,” as Nikolaus Harnoncourt calls the sound of a baroque violin. Medium-grained spruce with interesting irregularities was selected for the top and mildly flamed maple for the two-piece back and ribs; the...

This baroque viola made around 1850 in Mittenwald is a dynamic and expressive instrument from the annals of southern German violin-making, this interesting baroque viola has a sound of appealing warmth, volume, mellowness and strength, more than “quiet but with a sweet sharpness,” as Nikolaus Harnoncourt calls the sound of a baroque violin. Medium-grained spruce with interesting irregularities was selected for the top and mildly flamed maple for the two-piece back and ribs; the tonewoods are of superb quality. The few repairs made along the lower margin of the top were minimal and should be seen as a matter of course for such an old instrument. Even a minor repair to the button was performed by an experienced hand, and its solid workmanship is evident. This baroque viola has a handmade veneered fingerboard and is set up with gut strings and a baroque bridge, making it ideal for playing early music.

 
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Southern German baroque viola circa 1800
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