Marcelino Lopez "Lute-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 instrument, made in 2008, is lute-shaped (and sounding) "guitar" - in other words, it plays like a guitar - it has a 52mm nut, 6 individual strings (not courses), wire frets in the fingerboard and a guitar type bridge with saddle and tie block. So a fantastic instrument for the guitarist who plays lute music but always wanted the look and sound of a lute without fussing with the challenges of movable gut frets, doubled courses, etc. This instrument is in virtually like-new condition with no damage or repairs. Materials are beautiful with a spruce top heavy in bearclaw, 13-piece CSA rosewood back, meticulously carved "rose" rosette, with mother-of-pearl inlays at its perimeter and an elegant floral pattern carved into the forward-facing top of the headstock. 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