Jérôme Casanova, France
Vincente Arias "Fac-simile"
New 2016
Overview: This exquisite guitar is a bench copy, or "Fac-simile" as Jérôme Casanova refers to it, of a very rare 1893 Vincente Arias guitar. Feather light in construction, its soulful, old world sound is both breathtakingly beautiful and perfectly in balance with itself. Its profound basses are particularly deep, its pure trebles: lyrical, concentrated, and clear. This unique guitar is quick to respond to a wide range of subtle and broad shifts in color and attack. It is also extremely easy to play. In sum, this instrument is nothing less than a musical jewel - a player's and listener's delight. Guitars International is honored to be Jérôme Casanova's exclusive North American dealer. (Learn more about this classical guitar maker).

About this instrument Jérôme Casanova writes:

"The guitar offered here embodies my artistic aesthetic, that which touches me emotionally, truly, deeply. I developed this aesthetic over many years after listening to, examining, and studying guitars created by the great classical masters of Spanish Lutherie. I believe that these ancient instruments are not obsolete, nor do they represent 'revolutionary' lutherie. They are in fact timeless masterpieces left behind by artists who inspire me by their subtlety, refinement, and modernity.

Prior to reproducing such inspiring work, one must first and foremost love what one sees and hears. As a result, now, only after years of study, wonder, and meticulous restoration work have I chosen to build certain guitars in 'Fac-Similé' as it was done for centuries in the 'Quatuor Lutherie.'

An example of my work in this area is this 'Fac-simile' of a remarkable 1893 Vincente Arias guitar which I restored over a period of many months. What first strikes one when holding and then playing the original Arias guitar and my 'Fac-simile' is their astonishingly light weight. This lightness is the result of precise mastery of all the elements inside the instrument, a mastery which frees the sound in every dimension. Everything about my "Fac-simile" has been designed to resonate freely, harmoniously, musically. The result is that this instrument offers no impediment to producing fine music of every character. A player quickly and effortlessly appropriates (becomes one with) this instrument.

To construct this 'Fac-simile' of Arias' 1893 guitar, I used old stock European spruce for its soundboard; Indian rosewood for its back, sides, fingerboard, and bridge; and 'Cedro' for its neck. Its purflings are maple while its rosette incorporates maple, ebony, and stained alder motifs."

Materials: Dark Ind. sides and back, old European spruce soundboard, cedar neck, very dark Ind. fingerboard, Alessi turning machine heads (copies of the original 1893 Arias' machines), French polish of shellac finish, 650mm string length, 51mm nut width, master grade materials and immaculate workmanship, hardshell case.