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Arpeggione

 

My arpeggione was made by the Italian luthier Gianmaria Assandri in 2012 and it is a copy of a surviving arpeggione housed at the Leipzig Instrument Museum by the instruments inventor: Johann Stauffer. The instrument is a cross between a cello and a guitar, with the body, frets and tuning of a guitar, but with a bridge like a cello, which means that it has to be bowed. The only surviving piece of music for the instrument is Schubert’s ‘Arpeggione’ sonata. This piece is very famous but is usually performed on the cello or viola. As there is only one surviving piece for the arpeggione, very few performers own one of these instruments, which means that the Schubert sonata is vary rarely performed on its original instrument. Mine is one of the only instruments currently in the UK. It is quite a quiet instrument, although is very resonant and blends well with a fortepiano: the instrument that accompanies the arpeggione in the Schubert sonata.