For nearly two decades as a baroque violin maker I have sought to find a pure balance of sound which is usually lacking from violins with period setups used for historically informed performance. Often, newly made baroque violins sound scratchy, dull, and one could even say, soulless. Although I specialize in making baroque violins and instruments in transitional setup, one will find several violins in modern setup here. I will usually offer at least one baroque violin for sale, however most often I work on commission , and thus many of the instruments below are shown as examples of past work. My usual aim for modern setup instruments is a concert violin tone, however with that allusive sweetness not often found in modern-setup instruments. For my baroque violins, multifarious solutions exist for the delivering a specific sound required by the musician. I am often seeking an antique dark sonority so often missing in new-made violins. This means one need not subtract from ease of speaking, tonal projection, and a myriad of tonal colorings.
Most of the instruments are inspired copies of famous originals, or take several elements of a single school of violin making. The true task of any luthier is to provide the exact timbre and character of sound sought by the musician. Venetian violin making, and especially the early Venetian luthiers, often play a dominant role in choosing model, as these most clearly represent the particular aesthetic mentioned above. Other schools of violin making may also be found among my output during nearly two decades as a baroque violin maker. A small selection of violins are shown below, one may also browse the on the workbench page for instruments currently being constructed in the Viennese and Spanish workshop. Audio and video samples of my baroque violins can be heard here.
Baroque Violin Inspired by Pietro Antonio Dalla Costa.
This long pattern violin at 35.9 inspired by Pietro Dalla Costa shows very typical Venetian traits of long C-bouts, and very full and wide lower bouts. One can expect with so much air volume a powerful and yet sweet-sounding violin in baroque setup. All fittings were made by hand in my workshop. Available for trial and sale at Brobst Violins
Baroque Violin after Alessandro Gagliano.
Softly ascending archings, a slightly thicker top aged over twenty years, and the beautiful model all contributed to a very sweet and yet penetrating tone on this instrument. Inspired by the patriarch of the great dynasty of violin makers in Napoli, one can see my own personality reflected as well in many traits of the final appearance.
This instrument is in the collection of Oreste De Tommaso, whose recent endeavors in performing solo repertoire have tread upon new ground, opening the mind to refreshing questions on historical interpretation.
Baroque Violin after Matthias Alban.
The violin combines a late-baroque setup and a thin neck to facilitate easy left hand shifting and was thus intended from the very beginning for virtuosic violin performance. This is a “thickly wooded” violin with a dark and soulful sound. The mensur distance, and neck length at 13cm allow the musician to play most early classical repertoire comfortably. (SOLD)
Violin with Modern setup inspired by Pietro Guarneri.
One-piece back of Pearwood. Lovely soloist tone on this violin. (SOLD)
Baroque Violin inspired by Venetian maker Francesco Gobetti
As with previously completed baroque violins, I have long been fascinated by Venetian luthier Gobetti, not only for his lovely and rather eccentric archings and scrolls, but for the unique quality of tone they possess. A had in mind for this instrument lots of projection, almost as if making a concert violin, but that lovely, antique quality of a Gobetti. One will see other Venetian makers reflected as well in this violin, however the primary inspiration was undoubtedly towards Francesco. (SOLD)
Baroque Violin Venetian-Inspired.
This is one of my early instruments made in Vienna when my focus began to shift towards honing skills as a baroque violin maker. This baroque violin with its high archings was made inspired by the instruments of Pietro Guarneri when working in Venice. The beautiful one-piece back is of quilted maple, top of antique bear claw spruce seasoned over 20 years. The violin was further seasoned in in the white for 14 months in the Vienna Workshop. (SOLD)
Violin Inspired by Pietro Guarneri (Dedicated to Anna Vinnitskaya)
This violin was one of the first instruments I made after starting my own workshop. Although the unique and high archings sway more towards the eccentric sense of aesthetics, I am still rather proud of the final results. The instrument is dedicated to the pianist Anna Vinnitskaya, as her music filled the workshop during its creation. This violin is owned by Giulia Buccarella, who regularly uses it, along with her original violin by Jacob Stainer, for concerts in Bari and Rome, Italy.