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Acoustic Guitar (10 Years)
Great Acoustics -- 1927 Simplicio

September 2000
by Bianca Soros



Link to Acoustic Guitar Magazine

rancisco Simplicio (1874-1932) studied with Madrid luthier Enrique Garcia, who acquired his skills in the shop of Manuel Ramirez and is considered by many authorities to be the Stradivarius of the classical guitar. By 1929 Simplicio achieved greatness in his own right, receiving a gold medal at the World's Fair in Barcelona for his finely crafted creations.

   The pictured instrument, considered one of Simplicio's best, was built in 1927. It features a spruce top, rare burled Brazilian rosewood back and sides, and a tornavoz, or internal rosewood cylinder, designed to project the sound megaphonically. The headstock sports a carved ebony art deco bas-relief depicting a Greek muse playing a lyre. Matching decorative motifs in intricate multicolored wood marquetry adorn the top (which is surrounded by two rows of herringbone), rosette, headstock, and bridge (where a pearl border surrounds the mosaic pattern). The guitar has a 14.5-inch lower bout, a 25.6-inch scale length, and a wide waist. It has a full-bodied, resonant tone with focused, harmonic treble and powerful projection.

   The instrument was purchased in 1932, the same year that Simplicio died, by Argentinean guitarist Maria Luisa Anido (1907-1996). Anido, who studied with Miguel Llobet, was a professor at the Conservatorio Nacional in Buenos Aires and performed regularly in Argentina before touring the world beginning around 1950 and achieving international acclaim. She performed in Brazil, Europe, Japan, and Russia and made numerous recordings, including one with the great Andres Segovia (his only known recorded collaboration), who was reputed to be her lover.End

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