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François Roudhloff

(1781-1849)

The Duo Odelia plays two guitars by François Roudhloff, probably dating from 1825 and 1827.

 

Originally from Strasbourg, this luthier apprenticed at the school of Mirecourt in the Vosges, France. Afterwards, he moved to a studio in Paris.

Not played for years, these instruments bore the imprint of time with cracks and detached parts.

Today, thanks to the craftsmanship of Bernhard Kresse and Romuald Provost, the two luthiers who restored them in 2019, we can make them sound again.

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These romantic guitars are smaller and lighter than today’s classical guitars.

 

The soundboard is made of spruce, the back and sides are made of maple, the bridge and fretboard of ebony and the neck and head of veneered and stained basswood.

The rosette and sides are elegantly decorated with patterns, quite plain on the guitar played by Alice and more elaborate on Marie’s guitar.

François Roudhloff was inspired by the Neapolitan luthier Gennaro Fabricatore (active between 1777 and 1849), whose guitars were played by musicians such as Niccolò Paganini and Mauro Giuliani.

The Duo’s two guitars have a false Fabricatore label over the Roudhloff label, probably because the Italian’s reputation made the instrument more valuable.

The meticulousness of 19th century’s lutherie offers a wide range of sound colours and allows great flexibility in phrasing.

"Sonically Roudhloffs instruments impress by a velvety dark but very strong tone of unusual substance."
Bernhard Kresse

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