setecordas wrote:Do you find yourself playing mostly lute music, or do you branch out into more modern styles?
Inspired by the Bach recordings of Sollscher, I commissioned an alto guitar from Philip Woodfield some decades ago (not sure exactly when - I'm not good with time). It was a lovely instrument - well balanced, clear and deliberate tone - I thoroughly enjoyed working with it. I played Bach of course, but also lots of renaissance lute music.
The renaissance works fit beautifully and, while sounding nothing like a lute, the instrument is well suited to the character of the music in terms of its weight of tone, colour etc. Bach emerges very well too - particularly the keyboard (pseudo lute) suites - possibly due to the works not having been derived directly from the lute. Arrangements of cello and violin works? Well, that depends upon your point of view regarding additional material but I feel that the violin works fare somewhat better.
The Achille's heel is proper baroque lute music which obviously requires a similar amount of editing to that which we'd undertake for a standard six-stringed instrument. Even if you love only Weiss amongs the many composers of that era the sheer quantity of his output screams, "buy a Dresden."
I never used the alto for "avant garde" music and very little for modern "popular" styles. Something about the register (for me) didn't seem quite to work with the latter.
Off Topic: I took the decision to sell my instruments during a period travelling - some ten years without a home. I simply couldn't look after them. Most I would describe as nondescript - good names e.g. Contreras, Gee etc. but none of them outstanding and I have never missed them ... except the Woodfield which was quite special. I have tried to locate this old alto ("Delia") with a view to buying it back - if any of you "multi-string" afficianados happen to come across it I'd really appreciate a heads up.