An Unusual Ergonomic Viola by Modell Glasel Jr, Pre-WWII Germany - 411/389mm.

An unusual viola from the 1920’s or perhaps early 1930’s attributed to Modell Glasel Jr; gamba shaped, and possibly originally intended to be a Quinton, this instrument has a back length that that is 411 from the start of the button but also 389 from the apex of the cutaway shoulders: effectually, the 386mm or 15 1/4” string length feels remarkably easy to navigate - the shape of the shoulders allow the player to traverse the upper registers without altering their hand frame, opening a world of facility and expression.

Elegant, fluted f holes, shading and light antiquing, beautifully shaped Brescian style scroll, etc. The ribs, with a height of 41mm allow for comfortable play without a traditional shoulder rest and the instrument balances well in the hand. The instrument readily demonstrates mastery in craftsmanship and perfect execution of several schools of thought - the ribs are in two pieces, bent around the inside of the blocks, with the “C” bouts folded around them on the outside; built on the back, but a marked departure from the ad-hock, free-form approach of German making from centuries past.

Effectually, offering the robust and more complex sound of a larger viola and the feeling of playing something closer to 15.5.” The voice is robust and woody, balancing depth and power without accruing too much resistance for easily shaped phrasing and dynamic range.

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