Luthier Edgar Mönch, born in Leipzig on the 29th October of 1907, descended from a family of musicians. His Russian mother was a pianist and his father was a violinist and kapellmeister. He spent his childhood in Russia, attended school there, and afterward studied engineering at the technical university of Danzig (translator’s note: today: Gdansk, Poland). He then worked as a technical interpreter at the Stoka Plant in Prague. Furthermore, he studied the violin there at the conservatory. He got around to guitar making as a German prisoner of war in an English camp. There he met a violin maker from Breslau (TN: today: Wroclaw, Poland), who showed him, how to build a guitar. From 1947 when he was released from war imprisonment up to his death this was the profession he worked in. He brought his knowledge to perfection via studies in Spain with the befriended guitar maker Marcelo Barbero in Madrid. Edgar Mönch’s manual skillfulness and his perfectionism brought him global appreciation. He was fanatic in his work and self-critical as can be rarely seen. A Stradivari of Guitar Building. He eagerly gave his knowledge forward to his pupils and from his workshop came good guitar builders like John Larrivée, Kolya Panhuyzen, Ken Bowen, and Josph Kurek. Edgar Mönch died two months after his son’s death on the 16th of February 1977. Segovia, Julian Bream, John Williams, Vincente Gomez and many more guitar players around the world played and play a Mönch Guitar.
This very interesting guitar was built during the last phase of Edgar Mönch’s life when he returned from Canada to settle in Freiburg. Built just a few years before his passing, it impressively reflects Monk’s attention to detail and the continual evolution of his construction methods. This cedar top guitar has an incredibly thin, highly resonant back. The top has a traditional fan bracing, but it is highly customized and features an amazingly modern concept for the time. A look inside the guitar reveals the perfection of Edgar Mönch’s work. The latter even lightly varnished the inside of the top, back and sides to prevent moisture changes in the wood. The overall condition of this guitar is impressive, there are no cracks, only playing marks, and a stunning craquelé of the nitro lacquer. This is also crackled along the top joint, though the joint is completely closed and structurally intact.
The sound of this guitar is generous, warm, and dynamic. Very pleasantly light and intuitive to play, this guitar delights with its immediacy and sonority. This 1974 Edgar Mönch is a remarkable guitar by a luthier who so far has not been sufficiently appreciated.
|Back and sides:
|Air resonance frequency:
|Used hardshell case