A big,beautiful William Moennig Jr. viola dating from 1943. Made originally for Samuel Lifschey,principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, it is now now in the hands of a talented young player who brings out all its color and resonance. Although not easy to play physically it produces a depth in the lower register that,once you get used to, you can’t live without.
An interesting autographed photo of William Moennig Jr accompanies the photos of the viola. It is a photo taken on Dec 17th 1955 backstage at the Academy of Music after a performance by the famed violinist David Oistrakh. In the photograph Mr Oistrakh is shown in the mirror of his dressing room signing autographs,whlie Bill Jr in the foreground holds up the Strad he used for both the concert and in his recording of the Brahms violin concerto. In the mirror are also some burly men that were part of a KGB detail that followed Mr Oistrakh around the states to keep him from defecting during that tense Cold War time. Mr Oistrakh’s words translate to: “To an oustanding violin maker and an excellent gentleman,William Moennig- with respect and best wishes, David Oistrakh.”