Roze Viola, Orléans 1758

Recently sold

Roze Viola, Orléans 1758Roze is such an obscure maker that he doesn’t even feature in the Cozio archive, yet he was clearly able to produce very sophisticated sounding instruments such as this lovely viola.

All the luthier’s dictionaries have an entry for Roze, yet no-one has a first name, and one might be forgiven for thinking that no-one had actually seen a real one. The style is closest to that of the Vieux Paris makers, but with a certain rustic charm. Lightly built and with a quickly applied varnish, this instrument has no pretensions to grandeur, yet for all that it’s very attractive. The elongated scroll is quite reminiscent of the Landolfi shop, the arching full and well executed.

The condition is relatively good – there’s a small triangular insert at the base of the back, and the table has two or three well repaired cracks, below the treble f-hole for around 8cm, just to the left of the bridge (3cm down from the upper eye of the left f-hole), and up from the right edge of the saddle for about 8cm.The varnish is very well preserved overall, particularly on the back.

For all that this is a rather plain looking instrument, the sound is far from plain – perhaps because of its light build, it has a richness and a sustain that’s quite unexpected for a 40cm body. The sound is mature and very confident, dark in overall timbre but with a lot of high energy too. A lovely calm legato voice, but also quite a virtuosic personality, easy to get moving and very keen.

There’s also a special quality to the sound which I don’t come across very often. As a player you feel yourself pulled into this instrument, compelled to play I suppose – it’s a unique feeling.

All in all this is an unusually flexible instrument with a great range of tone and dynamics – it would be at home in just about any musical context, and it would work for a more introverted player or a total showoff

Dimensions: length of back 40cm, vibrating string length 36.6cm

Certificate: JJ Rampal, Paris

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Roze Viola, Orléans 1758 front photo Roze Viola, Orléans 1758 back photo Roze Viola, Orléans 1758 side photo Roze Viola, Orléans 1758 scroll photo
Roze Viola, Orléans 1758 label  

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