For performers and collectors alike, the name Ignacio Fleta (1897-1977) ranks among the elite handful of 20th century luthiers. His colorful guitar-making career spanned nearly half a century and his legacy has continued to the present day, with the instruments of his two sons Gabriel and Francisco, and now grandson Gabriel Jr. Countless scores of the finest players in the world have played these instruments. This particular instrument was previously owned by Marcelo Kayath. He won all his first-prize competitions with this guitar including his two biggest - Toronto and Paris in 1984. It was also his main concert instrument for many years of touring. He also used this guitar on all 6 of his commercial LP's and CDs, and even performed on it for Andres Segovia in the 1986 USC masterclasses. Marcelo bought the guitar from his teacher, Turibio Santos, who also used it to record one of his albums. A note on the label: Turibio Santos scratched off the year 1981 and wrote over it "1964" for some reason at the time he purchased it from the Fleta shop. Marcelo always saw this as a sign of good luck since 1964 is his birth year! But the guitar was made in 1981 and can be confirmed by the serial number both on the label and stamped into the internal heel. To hear Marcelo playing it, see the videos below.
Fleta is known for his unique approach to guitar making, bringing in his techniques and processes from his violin and cello training to the construction of his guitars. The resulting sound is very haunting, dark and mysterious, making it wonderfully suited to contemporary, Spanish or South American repertoire. Another remarkable characteristic is its superb sustain in virtually every register. This guitar is a maximum Fleta and it is no wonder why Marcelo Kayath chose this guitar to use almost exclusively for the duration of his career. The condition of the guitar is excellent, with no cracks or repairs of any kind. Apart from some very minor, superficial scratches on the top, Marcelo tells us that he had Francisco and Gabriel Fleta touch it up twice, and they slightly re-shaped the neck to accommodate his left hand comfort. This is one of the strongest, most powerful Fleta’s we have seen and the tone is absolutely magical. An extremely intriguing instrument with great provenance, tone quality and condition – an extremely desirable Fleta by any standard.