Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Wonder: Viola Organista

I had never heard of the viola organista, an instrument concocted in the imagination of Leonardo da Vinci, until I saw a feature on it in the online periodical 3 Quarks Daily. Not a reality in da Vinci's time, the part piano-part cello was built by Polish concert pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki. This video shows Zubrzycki in his first performance on the unusual instrument this past October:

According to various published articles, it took Zubrzycki three years and 5,000 hours to build the instrument. The sound is more than satisfying.

"Polish Concert Pianist Bilds a 'Viola Organista Based on a 500-Year-Old Leonardo da Vinci Sketch", This Is Colossal, November 18, 2013 (This article includes an image of da Vinci's design and a close-up of what Zubrzycki built. Additional closeups may be seen on this Polish blog.)

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