Marcelino Lopez "Romantic Guitar"
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The late Marcelino López Nieto
was one of Spain's most respected builders of the 20th century. He was originally a performer of the guitar, and had been a student of Daniel Fortea (who was himself a pupil of Tarrega). His professional background was initially in cabinetmaking, so given his skill set, it was a natural transition to guitar making, a path taken by many builders throughout history. He befriended Mathilde Ruiz (the widow of Santos Hernandez) after the passing of Santos in 1943, and was able to spend time in his workshop before setting up his own shop in 1947. He is also known for having worked with Hernandez y Aguado in the early 1970's and has since built several "Hernandez y Aguado" models over the years. Although a Madrid maker, Marcelino Lopez never allowed himself to fall under the shadow of the the larger, sturdier style of guitar making more typical of the Ramirez school, always preferring to build in the traditional style of Torres, keeping to the smaller body design without the use of double sides, and mostly building spruce tops, with French polish finish.
In addition to building traditional "Torres" style guitars, Marcelino also built many other historical instruments based on pre-Torres designs including vihuelas, Baroque guitars, Baroque and Renaissance lutes, and even other non-guitar-esque instruments such as viola da gambas, harps, harpsichords, clavichords and various period-styled violins and violas. This guitar, made in 2013, is a meticulously built "Romantic" style guitar with a large degree of subtle ornamentation throughout - the inlay work in the tie block of the bridge, nut and even fingerboard is astonishing with its use of mixed woods, mother of pearl and bone. Even the head features a beautifully decorated pearl piece resting on top of the palo rosa (pink rosewood) veneer - this wood is also used for the back and sides. Although a more compact body size than a contemporary "full-sized" guitar, it is very comfortable and easy to play and has surprisingly large volume. Very charming sound perfect for getting closer to the authentic sound of the music of such composers as Sor, Giuliani, Aguado, Legnani, Diabelli, Carulli, Coste and Legnani, just to name a few! The guitar is in virtually like-new condition with no damage or repairs. It is concert ready for any performance situation. This is a fantastic "period instrument" by one of Spain's most enduring and experienced legends.
Includes custom hardshell case perfectly fitted to the dimensions of the instrument.
Orfeo Magazine: Marcelino Lopez Nieto
Interview: Marcelino López Nieto