Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Vincente Arias
This guitar came in with little warning but rarely am I so enamoured with a guitar as with this one. Vincente Arias was working in Spain in the last part of the the 19th century and into the first decade of the 20th. They are rare finds indeed and this one is in fantastic original condition, even down to the brass frets. The rosewood is prime Brazilian and I love the polish on the soundboard - so fine and clear. Built so lightly it seems to tremble as you pick it up and work on it.
I have not had to do much to this instrument. The bridge had lifted over time and so was carefully removed, cleaned and then re-glued with hot hide glue. At some point the guitar had been dropped and this had put a large split in the bass rib. This has now been cleaned and glued. You can see some damage to the tentelones and glue from some previous repairs.

Simple, but very beautiful to the eye and that, as it transpires, is how it sounds too. Last night I returned it to Jim and had the pleasure of hearing accomplished guitarist, Adrian Rius, play this guitar. Adrian was returning FE 18 after the Tarrega exhibition in Spain, so Jim and Ging provided a fabulous evening of food and music. Nice to see Pablo Requena there too. Not only is Pablo a fine guitar maker but he can sing as well! Great stuff. And so the evening ended with Adrian playing 2 Torres guitars and the Arias. The guitars sounded better than ever and the playing was delicate and haunting. I left clutching the remains of a bottle of 1970 Fonseca's port (thank you Jim) and with Tarrega and Torres (and Arias) ringing in my ears.

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