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Review: La Chitarra di Liuteria — Masterpieces of Guitar Making

Review: La Chitarra di Liuteria — Masterpieces of Guitar Making

Stefano Grondona and Luca Waldner

ISBN 8886949189

l’officina del libro, 2001

Hardback, 213 pages plus audio CD

Italian text with English translation

Previously published in American Lutherie #93, 2008



Stefano Grondona, world class performer and teacher at the Conservatory of Vicenza, and Luca Waldner, an Italian performer turned luthier, have created a beautiful text chronicling the significant achievements of guitar building from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century. The text was inspired by a well-received series of exhibitions at the Conservatory of Vicenza displaying the instruments found in the text. Rather than attempt another survey of guitar history, the authors state in the preface that they wanted to start with the intrinsic value of each instrument and “convey first and foremost what might be described as an emotional understanding of them, historical points of reference being of only secondary importance.”

Their approach has created a text by which to judge others. Everything about this book is first-rate. It is well constructed, delightful to browse, and interesting to read. The content is more than a history of the instruments. It portrays a cultural context for each instrument, and when useful, states the authors’ well thought-out hypotheses about some of the mysteries of guitar history. They are good about letting the reader know when an opinion is being stated.

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