Viola by Melvin Goldsmith, Purleigh, 1998

Viola by Melvin Goldsmith, Purleigh, 1998

About Melvin Goldsmith

Melvin Goldmsith enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading makers of his generation. He is renowned for superbly accurate copies of 17th and 18th century master instruments.

About the viola

This viola was made in Purleigh in 1998 and is a copy of the Gasparo Bertolotti da Salò viola in the Ashmolean Museum.

The viola has a one piece back of beautiful quilted maple. The ribs are of quarter-sawn maple and the scroll is of plainer wood. The front is two pieces of straight-grained spruce and the varnish is a rich reddish-brown.

The original da Salò instrument has a length of back of 17 and 7/16 inches: the Goldmsith copy has been reduced to 16 and 7/8th inches. This large back length is more comfortable than it sounds due to the Brescian string length!

How does it sound?

This viola feels slightly like an enigma. When you first put bow to string, it comes across as warm and strong. With more playing and time spent on it, the instrument shows an ever more complex side with brighter and darker colours becoming more accessible. A very compelling instrument indeed!


The viola is in superb original condition.

Further information

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