Rainer Beilharz, Australian 16 ¼” Viola, 2019
This viola is a terrific example of the maker’s art, where each component connects and works with every other to make a whole that gels so well that it becomes ‘one’.
The back plate is of medium to broad flamed maple with matching ribs and head; the top plate of a nicely textured spruce with ‘bear-claw’ figure, and all coated in a warm reddish-brown varnish on a reflective, golden ground. Applied in an homogenous layer with no obvious antiquing, but a light craquelure adding interest to an already complex surface.
The sound is simply everything one could ask in a viola; dark, deep and rich down in the lower register. Clean throughout, it speaks smoothly and easily with great overtones and a long harp-like ringing tone even in the more violin like high reaches of the upper register.
The carefully crafted neck and perfect proportions make it easy and comfortable to play. It’s hard to believe this is a new instrument, what more could one ask?
Beilharz is a renowned Australian luthier, whose reputation and popularity as a maker continues to grow each year.
Rainer Beilharz, Australian 16 ¼" Viola, 2019