, the sole pupil and successor of Enrique Garcia, was known not only for the beautiful tone of his instruments, but also for his exquisite workmanship and use of extravagant ornamentation. The ornate purfling and rosette detailing are immediately recognizable features of this maker’s work. He is also known for the heavily and beautifully engraved headstocks. This guitar we offer here is a fine example of this maker at his best.
We purchased this beautiful guitar from the great French luthier Daniel Friederich
, who was its owner and custodian since 1988. Friederich was always very fond of the Barcelona makers – as is known, he was very good friends with, and greatly influenced by Ignacio Fleta. When we visited him recently in his Paris workshop to purchase this guitar, Friederich pointed out a curious historical detail - that he was born on January 16, 1932 – just 2 days after Simplicio died (January 14, 1932). He always felt connected to him in some, almost "mystical" way even though they never met. We have always wondered if Friederich would have designed a carved headstock had he not been so taken with Simplicio. Friederich provided this guitar as a supreme example of Simplicio's craft, for the Orfeo article on Simplicio
- it appears on pages 13-16.
The famous 'sound' of Simplicio is perhaps the most unique of the great makers of the twentieth century - it has a very "old-world" charm, and players of these guitars often remark how they are transported psychologically to another world when playing a Simplicio. The sound of this Simplicio is particularly magnificent - great depth to every note up the entire register with a big bottom-end and lyrical trebles. This effect is enhanced due to its being fitted with a "tornavoz" - a conical tube attached to the soundhole, which adds a sonic boom to the bottom end and gives the trebles a brilliant clarity. Playability is superb, thanks to a recent re-fret and setup by Yuris Zeltins. In addition to the beautiful and ornate carving and inlay work, the materials are striking - most notably it is built from a set of gorgeous quilted mahogany for the back and sides. Overall, a highly desirable guitar from this famous builder.
Orfeo article on Simplicio