The Campanula, a 20-stringed instrument named after the bell flower, was given a rare outing at the Musical Instrument Museum in Berlin during November, performed by Berlin Philharmonic cellist Georg Faust. The concert of Bach and Mozart followed the first Campanula Festival, held in the small town of Schifferstadt during August.
German luthier Helmut Bleffert’s modern take on the form, similar to a viola d’amore of the Baroque period, was developed during the 1980s; the instrument illustrated here features four playing strings tuned in fifths, as on a modern cello, and 16 sympathetic strings, producing a range of varied timbres. Bleffert has also developed Campanula violins and violas, which were demonstrated at the November concert by violinist Ludwig Schulze and violist Verena Wehling.
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