Nelle Doak O'Neill, Luthier


Viola, 'Lydie'

Completed, October, 2003



This small viola is modeled after the 1580 Brescian instrument of Gasparo da Salo. It is the only known small viola by this master and was the concert instrument of Louis Kievman, Principal Violist of the NBC Symphony. It maintains the deep ribs found in all of da Salo's large tenors. The instrument also retains the distinctive Brescian sound holes, scroll and double purfling of the original.

The one-piece top is of aged northwest Englemann spruce. The two-piece back is cut on the quarter and, with the neck and ribs, is of well flamed and aged northwest bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). Coloring is a red madder lake, layered between multiple coats of oil terpene varnish over a golden ground, using all natural materials, in the manner of the Cremona masters.

The tone is warm and even, with the small size and violin-like neck making it attractive for the teacher or player who doubles on violin.

Available for trial.

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