Hans Frei was one of the great instrument makers in Italy in the early 1500's. In his workshop, in Bologna, he helped to define the form of the lute. A testament to the enduring quality of his instruments is that no extant Frei lute remains in original condition. They have all been updated with the passage of time and the fashions of music with new necks to accommodate more strings and new tunings.
This model is based on an instrument by Hans Frei now in the Wein Kunsthistorisches Museum, no. C34. Out of all the extant models of 11c Baroque lute available to us, we chose this model because it is an exquisite and comfortable form with a full, bright tone. It is an ideal lute for both beginners and experienced players.
The original instrument, in its present form, has 11-courses for baroque tuning, which is a later adaptation; it is probable that it originated as a six-course instrument.
For baroque lutes, we feel the 11-course lute is the perfect lute. It developed during the 1630s and was used continually for more than 100 years, until David Kelner published the last lute music book in 1748, specifically for the eleven-course variety.
Further proof of the viability of this model comes from a painting now hanging in the Louvre in Paris, depicting French lutenist Charles Mouton, (ca. 1626-1699), by François de Troy. This image shows Mouton holding an instrument that is identical to the Frei model that we offer.
This model is ideal as an 11-course lute to play most of the existing baroque repertoire.
You can order the instrument package here in the web store. We do require a 30% deposit on instruments, and when you put the instrument in the shopping cart this 30% will be calculated for checkout. When we get the order in the office, we will be in contact with you with the specifics about when the instrument will be delivered. Instruments currently take eight to ten months for delivery.
Please see the Terms of Sale/Shipping page for more information about deposits, warranties and shipping.
Basic Model Features:
- String length: 68cm
- Body length: 44cm
- Body width: 31cm
- Overall length: 74cm
- Back: Eleven figured maple ribs
- Neck: Spruce-core with
- Fingerboard: Ebony with ebony points
- Head: Figured maple rails with ebony back-plate and maple treble rider
- Pegs: Choice of ebony, rosewood, boxwood, or mechanical PegHeds
- Front: "AAA" Englemann spruce
- Front binding: Ebony with ebony/mother-of-pearl heart
- Rose design: "A" pattern
- Endpin: to match pegs
- Nut: Bone
- Nylon strings with wound nylon basses
- Back: Choice of yew, pear-wood, or bird's eye maple
- Front: Sitka spruce, Figured Sitka spruce, Western cedar, Alpine spruce, or figured Alpine spruce
- Case: Custom made case from the Kingham Case Company in England
- One year warranty
- One year subscription to the Lute Society of America
A 30% deposit is required at the time of the order.
Shipping will be added on to the price of the instrument and calculated for the transit between Duluth, MN and your location. Packing and insurance will be added to the shipping charge.
Please see the Terms of Sale/Shipping page for more information about deposits, warranties and shipping..