Paul K Berger 16 3/8″ Viola
click picture to enlarge
Paul Berger is a Pennsylvania maker who studied under the direction of RJ Storm of Beacon, NY. Paul learned old world Italian School techniques that he has incorporated into all the instruments he makes. The viola is 16 3/8” in its corpus length and boasts a rich and powerful tone. Paul used beautiful European maple he acquired in the 1970’s and a tight grain Italian spruce for the top plate. The maple flame is subtle but very beautiful in the back, ribs, neck and scroll of the instrument. The curl jumps as you move the viola at different angles to your eye. The instrument is fitted in rosewood and the tail-piece is a German Wittner rosewood tail. The spirit varnish is a lush deep orange-brown with clarity all on an amber ground.
The symmetry in tone across its register and the quickness of response are the keys to the viola’s tonal character. The sound on this instrument is rich and powerful, almost reedy in character. The tone is vibrant on all four of its voicings. Along with response these are qualities that many violists strive to acquire in their instrument. This viola would be a fine addition to any player ready to make the next leap to a handmade instrument.