Alfred Vincent is one of our favourite makers, and we’re delighted to have a viola of his on offer. It’s a big sounding instrument, well used but entirely free of cracks or repairs.
We’ve sold a couple of Alfred Vincent violins, most memorably one signed on the ribs by the English soloist Marie Hall (1884-1956), and we always keep an eye out for them. Vincent himself was quite a success in his lifetime, the violins bearing his label are generally outstanding tonally, yet there is absolutely no mention of him in “The British Violin”.
Be that as it may, this is a very nicely built viola with slightly Guadagnini-inspired f-holes, broad across the waist, looking more refined and elegant than its size would suggest.
The condition is excellent – some scuffs and chipping to the edgework and corners, a little bit of chinrest-induced buckling to the bottom bass rib, but no cracks whatsoever.
This is a very bold and immediate sounding viola – plenty of depth to the tone but essentially fresh and lively. Definitely more suited to an extrovert player than a shrinking violet, this would be an ideal instrument for recitals, particularly if you need to be heard over a grand piano!
The tone is very consistent throughout the register – punchy, direct, yet bristling with overtones…
Great sustain too, plenty of nuance and dynamic range – all in all an exciting and very rewarding instrument to play.