Nicolas Deletaille, arpeggione, and Alain Roudier, fortepiano, play Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata.
The arpeggione was invented in 1823 by instrument maker Johann Georg Stauffer in Vienna. It is fretted, has six strings and is tuned like a guitar, but played with a bow like a cello or gamba.
Although it caught on straight away, and Schubert wrote what is now known as his Arpeggione Sonata for the instrument in 1824, its popularity faded after about a decade.
Today Schubert’s sonata has become part of the traditional cello and viola repertoire, with a few octave adjustments. It has also been transcribed for several other instruments, including double bass, violin, flute and clarinet.
Deletaille’s instrument was made by Benjamin Labrique in 2001 and features curved frets for true temperament.