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The Five-stringed violin “Milanolo”

 

Milanolo

The five-stringed violin “Milanolo” was invented in the Bursik violin studio in Brno in unique cooperation of three master violin makers of two generations – Jan Hus Bursik and his sons Jan and Bronislav. It connects the beauty of the sounds of violin and viola. The inventors’ inspiration was in the model Guarneri del Gesú, which they transformed for the sound requirements of the five-stringed violin.

For this particular instrument they chose first class material from the gold fond of the violin maker’s clan which was the basis for reaching the high sound qualities of “Milanolo”. The spruce top plate with regular growth rings comes from Schwarzwald in Germany and it’s age is supposed to be about 60 years. The bottom desk from one piece is decorated by a manifold and deep annealing. It is Bosnian maple which is 50 years old.

Thanks to the thought-through and changed construction, the instrument achieved the excellent playability. By extending rib, the interior of the instrument, and innovative tuning of the top and bottom plate, the instrument excels in the multiplication of aliquot notes. Snail and the overall shape of the neck is designed with regard to the need in addition of the fifth string C, and maintains the ideal weight that combines aesthetics of the whole shape.

Due to the fact that the string C was placed on the last pin in the hollows, the ideal tension of the deepest string was achieved and thereby it improved its sound character. The instrument retains the clear, colorful and bright upper strings, with the lower strings that sound in viola timbre.

Delicious and very flexible oil lacquer, mixed according to the old Italian recipes, decorates essential oils with the soft elastic resins. This combination maintains in the lacquer high elasticity, which doesn’t dampen vibrations and supports the overall resonance. The lacquer adds to the instrument’s glamorous look with high transparency for the base of the selected wood. The game of lights and colors that radiates, enhances the overall deep impression of this unique instrument.

The idea of creating  a five-stringed violin emerged from the special cooperation of Bursik violin studio with the virtuoso Milan Pala, thus combining three master luthiers and a musician masterfully controlling both the violin and the viola. Milan Pala, with his unique interpretation and a brilliant range of playability on violin and viola, was an inspiration for the creation of a unique instrument that bears his name – “Milanolo”.

The high difficulty of mastering the playability of this instrument, both physical and mental, is changing in the hands of Milan, in the pure art and pleasure beyond the current form of classical music. This instrument allows the soloist in previously unimaginable ways to expand the repertoire of compositions and play pieces at the same time designed for violin, viola and even violoncello. Unprecedented possibilities of the five-stringed violin also bring an incomparable yet unheard experience to the music composers and, of course the listeners who may at the same time enjoy the interconnection of the sound qualities of violin and viola.

 

Translation: Jan Halík

Atelier Bursík