Dr. Reuben Epstein's comments regarding the "Thurmond" viola
Excerpt from a letter dated June 23, 2001
"The viola continues to please. I like that your antiquing is
understated. You achieved an appearance of age and fragility without resorting to
simulated damage. To my ear and experience, the sound is characteristic of an
old fine instrument. It has a smoothness and an even resonance that allows the
sound to bloom, without ringing like a struck metal bell. I have not found
characteristics this well-developed in any other instrument that I could afford.
From the first time I tried this viola last December, I found the sound comforting and
expressive. I still look forward to every chance I have to play it. The A
string is very well-matched to the lower strings. It has the characteristics
expected of a high string, but it shares the richness of the lower strings to a degree
that is unusual, in my experience. There is less metallic and pinchy flavor in the A
string than in almost everything I have ever played. There is a reduced need to
contrive fingerings to keep off the A string in order to preserve tone quality. The
sound is complex, dark, woody, organic, spicy, and glowing."