Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Alexander Batov
  • Lewes
  • United Kingdom
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Alexander Batov's Discussions

Belchior Dias 1581 vihuela: the wood it's made of.
2 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Alexander Batov Dec 2, 2013.

DO REGIMENTO DOS VIOLEIROS etc (for Manuel Morais, and others of course)
5 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Alexander Batov Sep 25, 2008.

 

Alexander Batov's Page

Latest Activity

Alexander Batov and Sylvain Bergeron are now friends
Mar 14
Christopher Challen left a comment for Alexander Batov
"It was some time ago that I examined the 1680 Stradivari guitar in the Ashmolean Museum and made drawings in preparation for copying but the impressions I recieved were lasting. My feeling is that both bridge and rose are original. My reason being…"
Jan 3
Alexander Batov left a comment for Christopher Challen
"Dear Chris, No need to apologise, I perfectly understand that you didn't do it on purpose! It's easy to get things mixed nowadays, with so many images hanging about on our computers. I see that you reproduced the rose rather nicely.…"
Jan 2
Christopher Challen left a comment for Alexander Batov
"you are absolutely right about the picture of the guitar heel!!! This was an instrument which I probably made in the late 70s and I think was my first and only full size copy of the Ashmolean guitar. I have no recollection as to how I…"
Jan 2
Alexander Batov replied to Alexander Batov's discussion Belchior Dias 1581 vihuela: the wood it's made of.
"Thank you, Scot. I know, the similarity is truly amazing, bearing in mind that African blackwood is quite variable in colour shades, depending where it grew, soil condition etc. Here is a full-resolution crop of the image in plate1:"
Dec 2, 2013
Scot Tremblay replied to Alexander Batov's discussion Belchior Dias 1581 vihuela: the wood it's made of.
"Interesting. I'm amazed how similar that piece you have looks like the wood in the Dias instrument. Are you sure you don't have the sister cut??? ;)"
Dec 1, 2013
Alexander Batov posted a discussion

Belchior Dias 1581 vihuela: the wood it's made of.

The wood of which the Belchior Dias 1581 vihuela is made is now fully identified as African blackwood (grenadilla). For more info and pictures go to: http://www.vihuelademano.com/vgcrossroads.htm (1st section "Wood").See More
Dec 1, 2013
Alexander Batov replied to av8t0r's discussion Reccomendations for restoration of late Baroque guitar
"I surely meant to say the 'mystery person', not 'misery' of course, I do apologise!"
Jun 11, 2013

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At 18:42 on January 3, 2014, Christopher Challen said…

It was some time ago that I examined the 1680 Stradivari guitar in the Ashmolean Museum and made drawings in preparation for copying but the impressions I recieved were lasting. My feeling is that both bridge and rose are original. My reason being that in many details the guitar rose resembles the rose of my 1680 Stradivari mandolino (National Instrument Museum NNM 6045)http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/PluckedStrings/Mandolins/StradMandolin/StradMandolin.html . I’m not sure if anyone has made a definitive decision re the date of the guitar but I’ve always read it as 1680.

The very small attachment area of the guitar bridge I did find slightly disturbing on examination but have reproduced this on many occasions without any problems (as far as I know!). The bridge on the mandolino is also extremely narrow - in proportion to the string length that is - but likewise has not proved a problem in reproductions. I played the original instrument vigorously for about 23 years in both concerts (including several performances of the Vivaldi G major double mandolino concerto with James Tyler) and often hours of the usual daily practice, with no signs of structural shortcomings.

I always find Stradivari’s work extremely inventive and full of surprises. For example, nailing the ribs of his guitars to the mould (the filled holes at the waist are clearly visible) and using what I think is a clever way of piercing the bridge in order that the position of the strings can be accurately set and subsequently adjusted - drilled holes just don’t offer the same flexibility.

Happy New Year. Chris.

At 12:17 on January 2, 2014, Christopher Challen said…

you are absolutely right about the picture of the guitar heel!!! This was an instrument which I probably made in the late 70s and I think was my first and only full size copy of the Ashmolean guitar. I have no recollection as to how I confused things, maybe I was looking around to see how others had tackled the meeting of so many lines and saved your picture as a good example. Also, the colours are quite similar and we both decided to not varnish the neck. I of course removed the picture immediately and hope you don't think I was trying to pass my work off as your own - this would not be a good way to start out on such an interesting website. I will enlarge the other heel image as soon as poss showing how I resolved the problem. I do hope you will accept my apologies. Yours, Chris (Challen).

At 11:53 on September 22, 2011, Nick O'Sullivan said…
Alexander, Your viola da mano is a stunningly beautiful instrument
At 8:20 on May 19, 2011, jean michel Catherinot said…
Your viola sounds absolutely amazing: wonderful. Bravo!
At 2:29 on March 15, 2011, Jennifer Bennett said…
I started playing baroque guitar for a few days but then had to give it back to its owner but now I am really excited as today  I have started hiring a renaissance guitar from the lute society :-). Yes I can't wait to play with Yair's kapsperger etc..
At 11:14 on June 9, 2010, Kernoa Patrig said…
In fact we are! I wanted to send you a message but it was refused as we were not yet official friends!!!!
Can you tell me when you make a so-called "romantic guitar", I'd like to see and try it if possible. I still enjoy very much playing the barok guitar and the vihuela. Those days are frustrating as I broke my left arm last sunday while sailing on the channel, 4 weeks without playing, concerts concealed... all the best, Patrig
At 7:41 on May 24, 2010, mel said…
Alexander: Some time ago I posted a picture of an opened Fabricatore guitar and you expressed doubt that the braces were original especially the diagonal. I was perusing through my photo collection and I have two additional photos for you to examine. The braces appear to be of the same age , similar bulk and style in which they were cut, and there appears to be no other scars where there may have been any other brace placements. What has been your experience with Fabricatore guitars? Is there a possibility that this may be a fake ? The label appears to be similar to labels presented in many books , but even so that might be counterfeited as well. Opinion?
At 20:26 on March 3, 2010, Oleg Boiko said…
Саш, приветствую)! рад сердешно повидать неожиданно), мои контакты все в силе и действии, так что как что звони услышимся( эт я на счет инструмента), а пока всего наилучшего, Джаки привет!....
At 15:04 on February 23, 2010, Fernando Lewis de Mattos said…
Hello Alexander, I made a mistake about the period of the first viola, from Minas Gerais. It's really from 18th cent.ury, as you said. These violas are from 18th and 19th century. I'll correct this information. Thank you, Fernando
At 6:17 on February 3, 2010, michael Bocchicchio said…
Alexander, thank you for the info and link. The irony is that Mel lives 80 miles from me and we talk often on the phone. ---But have never discussed baroque guitar bracing!
After seeing the pics, I noticed that the original Voboam brace (removed and replaced with the diagonal brace) is much closer to the bridge than the bracing shown on my Stradavari plan. I should probably measure the location my plan and tell you who drafted it, and when.
I'm currently in Los Angeles (playing the lute on the TV show "House"), and won't be home for another 2 days. I will look into it when I return.
Thanks again,
Mike
 
 
 

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