This ‘best in class’ Torres has found a special and appreciative new home, if you are seeking a fine Torres please contact me…
ANTONIO DE TORRES 1890 #141
MY FIRST MEETING WITH THIS GUITAR:
This is a very very special Torres with a well documented history of being recognized as a superb example of a fine Torres. I first ‘met’ this guitar in the shop of Matthias Dammann. I was staying with Matthias for a day at his home and workshop in order to pick up a Spruce Double Top he had built for me at the time. In the evening, Matthias, a good mutual friend and the owner of this Torres, and I, settled down in his living room, and gazed at a site that would be most guitar lovers dream come true. Before us four guitars were laying on a mattress in the room. Two new Cedar Dammann Double Tops, a new Spruce Dammann double top, and this magnificent Antonio de Torres.
Just viewing them together side-by-side one could not help but be moved by the link of past and present, arguably the best of the past, which in a way led to the best of the present, here in modern times, side-by-side, the genetic connection sent tingles up my spine.
It was no accident that the Torres was there that evening, in fact Matthias found this particular Torres and it’s voice so beautifully inspiring, that Matthias obtained the owners blessing to keep it in his shop for inspiration, and there it was for many years. One can imagine the hands of this legendary builder of our modern times, who has been called the ‘Torres of our time’, lovingly cradling this fine vintage Torres in his arms, and playing her as often as he wished to not only hear the beautiful voice, but also to be reminded of the origins of the modern guitar.
And so this night, guitars ‘old’ and ‘new’, ‘fan braced’ and ‘double top’, built by two Maestro’s of our instrument, played one after the other over and over again, first Matthias, then our friend, then me, all savoring the similarities and the differences alike. To say magic was in the air would not be an overstatement.
So this was my introduction to this incredible Torres: the voice is angelic, magical, beyond description even, the basses and trebles were better balanced than any Torres the three of us had ever played, the trebles were stronger, rounder and fuller than any Torres the three of us had played, and the basses were the musical and sonorous basses expected on the best Torres. It plays like a dream, for some reason unexpectedly easy to play. But I think what pleased us all the most, and this is unique we all agreed to this particular Torres (The owner of this guitar has played more than 20 Torres), was the rather surprising volume it has. Unlike some Torres which can be somewhat quiet, especially in the trebles, this one held its head proudly along side the three beautiful sounding and powerful Dammanns. It is no shrinking violet this one, and made its commanding presence known to all three of us. Completely unexpected, and highly unusual. This Torres holds its own. Wow. Simply divine beyond description. A players Torres, one meant to make music now and always, not to be just admired sitting in a display case, but to be held, played and enjoyed which after all, is why Torres made her in the first place...
WORDS FROM THE CURRENT OWNER
I acquired this fine Torres by a combination of good luck and good timing in 1992 and have owned ever since. It was once owned by an important Spanish/Argentinian guitarist Roberto Soriano ( Roberto Recaredo Soriano Pastor) and eventually made its way via Switzerland and then to Germany and then into my hands.
I have provided you with a Spanish Wikipedia article about Roberto Soriano, and interestingly enough, even in this mainly biographical article this particular Torres is mentioned and praised.
This Torres also appears in Domingo Prat’s “ Diccionario de Guitarristas” which was for a long time the most important source and reference book in the guitar world. His words “una excelentisima Torres” do not need translation I believe. This Torres appears as well in the book on Torres by Jose Romanillos, and also in the book by Stefano Grondona.
Maybe the most important and interesting document that accompanies this guitar however is a historic photocopy of a handwritten letter from Santos Hernandez to the previous owner Roberto Soriano. (This historic photocopy of the letter is included for the new owner of the guitar). I have endeavored to translate this letter as best I could with the help of an interpreter, and the English translation will accompany the photocopy of the Spanish version. It is obvious that Santos Hernandez had worked on the guitar, perhaps a minor neck repair and possibly converting it from pegs to tuning machines, and it seems both he and Regino Sainz de la Maza must have test played it while in his shop. Santos Hernandez praises the guitar while interestingly taking a tiny ‘swipe’ at his predecessor Torres writing “ the… Torres is very good, and when Regino tried it, the very beautiful trebles have both pleased him and myself, a rare feature with Torres because (usually) they all suffer from bad trebles but have good basses”.
It is interesting that he points this out, as I have played more than 20 Torres myself and have found this to be somewhat true except with this particular Torres. It is in my opinion the most ‘complete’ Torres I have played in this respect and as you have seen holds its own nicely even against the most powerful modern instruments. Power-wise, it is a fully usable concert instrument in every respect even by modern standards, and yet has all the magic and soul in its voice. Aside from this, as you are well aware of, it is quite difficult to find a Torres that is in better condition and with less restoration having been done on it.
Matthias Dammann put in new frets and restored the French Polish on the back and sides. The top itself and also the French Polish on the top are in completely original condition. Matthias especially loves this guitar and he repeatedly told me no other guitar ever inspired and encouraged him as profoundly as this specific Torres. He even drew up plans of this guitar. There are a very few tight old stable repaired cracks that have remained unchanged the many years I have owned the guitar, and which appear to have been repaired many years ago.
The guitar, given its age, is in unusually fine condition, the top is fully original including the polish according to the owner, the very few small cracks it has have been stable for many years and were well repaired many years ago. Please contact me for more detail. In remarkable fine condition. Exceptional even.
A FINAL THOUGHT
I am honored to represent the owner of this rare, wonderful, and very special Torres. The owner I have known personally for many many years and he is in my opinion one of the world’s experts on Classical Guitars. I agree entirely with his assessment above, and found this guitar when I played it myself to be possibly one of the finest guitars I have ever had the pleasure to play. A Torres for a collector sure, but perhaps even more delightful, it is a Torres meant and ready to be played for many many years to come. Please contact me for price and additional details. Available now.
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