John Dilworth praises the archetypal beauty of Stradivari’s ‘Archinto’ viola, a magical example of form and aesthetic
This is an edited version of an article first published in the June 1996 issue of The Strad
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The 1696 Stradivari ‘Archinto’ viola is one of the most beautiful instruments in the world. It was made at a very felicitous time, just as the great master’s red varnish was reaching perfection and his designs — encapsulated in the gorgeous long pattern violins — were at their most elegant. The Golden Period of the following few decades is exemplified by a slightly heavier approach which (though it suits the violins well) is less effective on the larger instrument….
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