Mittenwald violin by Karl Sandner, 1968
violin back, Karl Sandner
violin ribs, Carl Sandner
violin scroll, Carl Sandner
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Mittenwald master violin by Karl Sandner, 1968

This master violin by Karl Sandner is a magnificent representation of the classic style of Mittenwald's artisan-oriented violin making in the 1960s. With its elegant and attractive aesthetic and its excellent musical properties, it represents the work of a master who kept a low profile to date has found very little public attention – and unjustifiably so, as this carefully crafted instrument demonstrates with its mature expertise and craftsman sensitivity. After the end of WWII, Karl Sandner came to Mittenwald from...

This master violin by Karl Sandner is a magnificent representation of the classic style of Mittenwald's artisan-oriented violin making in the 1960s. With its elegant and attractive aesthetic and its excellent musical properties, it represents the work of a master who kept a low profile to date has found very little public attention – and unjustifiably so, as this carefully crafted instrument demonstrates with its mature expertise and craftsman sensitivity. After the end of WWII, Karl Sandner came to Mittenwald from the Bohemian violin-making town Schönbach (Luby) along with many other displaced persons, and at first he found employment at the Gewa workshops, which themselves had also been relocated from the Saxonian town of Adorf to Bavaria. His brother already worked at Gewa, where he crafted bridges. However, the highly efficient siloed approach to making instruments did not satisfy Sandner's wide-ranging craftsman interests, and in fact the issue soon became a point of conflict between the luthiers from Schönbach and the local craftsmen. Karl Sandner remained in Mittenwald and established his own workshop when the majority of the refugees left the Isar Valley in 1949 to create a new atelier in Bubenreuth that was based on the one in Schönbach. By pursuing his own path, Sandner created instruments for clients around the world, including the US. Sandner demonstrated a highly refined sense of stylistic and musical sensitivity which is evident even in the excellent tone woods he chose, which elevate this master violin well above customary craftsman standards. The thick coat of transparent golden-brown varnish against a light base coat accentuates the striking aesthetic of the moderately grained spruce top and the wonderfully vivid deep flames of the two-piece maple back, giving the overall appearance of this violin an approachable and elegant character. This is further complemented by a few expressive traces of use which reflect the appreciation that skilled musicians have shown the instrument. In the course of meticulously setting up the violin, our luthiers have seen for themselves that it is in flawless condition, and we have made it ready to play. Corilon's own violinist, who plays first violin in a famous Munich orchestra, recorded the usual sound samples for this instrument and then expressed major enthusiasm about its playing properties and its warmly recommended powerful voice. This comparatively broad interpretation of the historic Stradivari model will win over musicians with its mature sound and carrying resonance, opening up interesting musical options. Nowadays new Mittenwald master violins are not offered at prices below €12,000-€18,000.