Watch a Musician Play the Last Stradivarius Guitar in the World


Even if you’re not a fan of classical music, you’ve probably heard of Stradivarius violins. Known for their superior sound quality, the rare violins were built by the Italian Stradivari family in the 17th and 18th centuries and are coveted by musicians and collectors to this day. But did you know that Antonio Stradivari, the most well-known member of the Stradivari luthiers, made a few guitars as well?

Out of the approximately 1000 instruments produced by Antonio Stradivari and his family, about 960 were violins, according to Forgotten Guitar. That makes the Stradivarius guitar a particularly rare specimen. Today, there are five remaining Stradivarius guitars in the world—but only one is still playable. Known as the Sabionari, the last playable Stradivarius was built by Antonio Stradivari in 1679, and was named for its first owner, Giovanni Sabionari.

In the above video, classical guitarist Rolf Lislevand showcases the instrument's rich sound, playing Santiago de Murcia's "Tarantela." Though the guitar is sometimes displayed at museums, it belongs to a private collector and is infrequently played, making Lislevand’s rendition a truly rare experience. A few more Sabionari recordings can be heard on Open Culture or the instrument’s official website.

[h/t Open Culture]

Banner Image Credit: MdV - Museo del Violino, YouTube