Please feel free to share. “Amazing Grace”
Now you've piqued my curiosity! These cut-away or slenderized violas seem like a terrific workaround for people seeking to maximize the size of a viola they can handle while facilitating ease of handling. Looks like the Sabatier violas are commercially available in the intermediate price range.
I also stumbled across this form originally designed by Otto Erdesz.
There's another cutaway viola design originated by Hiroshi Iizuka, similar to the Erdesz pattern but symmetrical and with a somewhat less drastic cutaway. Here's an Iizuka viola in action.
thanks, AndrewH. The shape is rather more pleasing on this one than the Erdesz, I think... and the sound is phenomenal especially played in that space. I have it blasting out on my living room speaker and it makes my home sound like a small church!
For anyone else who loved this, here's another recording, same violist... almost 10 years earlier... with same or similar violin but played in a more neutral space. What sound... sigh... and that viola looks enormous, even with the slenderized upper bouts.
I just got off the phone with the importer of the Sabatier fractional viola in Toronto, Canada.
They use fractional violin strings of various manufacturers based on the size of the viola and the likes of the student. They only use the Tonica “c” String. I asked if the silver or tungsten wrap was used, but he was evasive on that (as well as the tension).
I then asked if they had tried the use of an undersized tailpiece to gain after length and permit the use of a longer string. He said the question had never been asked before but they stocked a variety of Wittner fractional sized tail pieces (the brand used on the Sabatier) and they would be willing to experiment at the request of a student.
They have begun renting the Sabatier viola in Canada, but not in America. He said that question was for the owner.
I asked if anyone had ever strung a 14 inch Sabatier viola as a violin. He did not think so, and would be concerned about string to string acoustic balance.
Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular race. The soul emanates equal and eternal from bodies different in shape and color. It is sufficient to say ‘Man’ to comprehend therein all rights. — Jose Marti
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa