Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

“FASZINATION GITARRE” 23 September 2010 to 30 January 2011 Music Museum, Berlin.

 

 

 

 

More didactic than “Travelling Guitars”, the 2006 exhibition in Paris (with a bit of everything) and less refined than  "Guitars: 4 Centuries of Masterpieces” held in Alessandria (Italy) in 2008, the exhibition “Fascination Guitare” was held for 4 months in Berlin.  We thought a review of such a fascinating event could be useful.

 

  A so far-reaching exhibition can only create enthusiasm in the world of guitars, luthiers as well as musicians. More than 100 guitars, from the 18th century to our present days, made by many of the most well known luthiers, shown all together  in a well lighted open space.  Instruments were presented outside their window-cases which helped in looking at them closely and gave the possibility to take photographs (without flash); the possibility of examining all details such as bridges, grafts, heels or pegs, etc. made it so much easier.  A simple chronology and a presentation of the luthiers according to their geographic and cultural origins: French, Italian, Austrian, English, Spanish with a large part dedicated to the German ones, diversity of which is not too well known to us.

 

This event took place in an important museum, rich of numerous instruments of the patrimony of all kinds, in a European capital.

A fantastic exhibition that we visited with enthusiasm..

 

However, a slight hitch! it is too bad that the curators did not mention the modifications done on the instruments: substitution of bridges, shorter necks, transformed heads, etc. and the fact that, without the right expertise, some attributions were wrong.  We are also sorry that the catalogue (weighing more than 1 kilo) reproducing almost all the guitars in the exhibition, each with its technical data, was not translated in English for the benefit of all European visitors– taking into consideration the importance of the exhibition – and that a sketch, even simple, showing each instrument’s fan bracing would have been an extremely valuable information.

 

A very beautiful exhibition, unfortunately not complete enough, for the “fascinated by guitars” amateurs that we are.

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