The name Stradivari is typically associated with violins, violas, and cellos. The instruments made by the celebrated Italian family in the 17th and 18th centuries are among the most rare and coveted orchestral stringed instruments in the world.
But the Stradivari family also made guitars, though in much smaller number, which makes surviving examples even rarer than their counterparts. According to ForgottenGuitar.com, the Stradivari family “produced over 1,000 instruments, of which 960 were violins.” Yet, “a small number of guitars were also crafted, and as of today only one remains playable.”
This is that guitar, one of just five surviving examples of guitars made by Antonio Stradivari.
In the clip above, baroque concert guitarist Rolf Lislevand plays Santiago de Murcia’s “Tarantela” on the world’s last playable Stradivarius guitar. Named “the Sabionari,” it was made in 1679 and has been restored by luthiers Daniel Sinier, Francoise de Ridder, and Lorenzo Frignani.
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