Fa b r i c i o   a t t o s
            

Classical Guitarist, Music Producer & Entrepeneur

 

SPENCER COLLECTION

The Spencer Collection belonged to the musician and scholar Robert Spencer, and since 1997 is part of the collection of the Royal Academy of Music. It is one of the most important collections for guitar and lute in the world, comprising instruments, rare manuscripts, books, artwork, and other items involving particularly the history and development of plucked instruments. For further information about Robert Spencer and the Spencer Collection and to search its contents, please access this link


Fabricio Mattos has been regularly accessing the collection since 2017, and this intense research resulted in the Spencer Series, a set of lecture-recitals at the Royal Academy's Museum exploring in detail some of the material in the collection. Find below photo and video samples of the instruments in the collection (not all in an 'ideal' playing condition), and some images of the material explored by Fabricio Mattos in this series.  

INSTRUMENTS

These are some of the instruments that belong to the Spencer Collection, in photos provided by the Royal Academy of Music. 
  • English guitar, J. Preston, 1780
    English guitar, J. Preston, 1780
  • French lyre, 1790
    French lyre, 1790
  • 6-course guitar, J. Pages, 1805
    6-course guitar, J. Pages, 1805
  • 6-string guitar, G. Fabricatore, 1818
    6-string guitar, G. Fabricatore, 1818
  • Terz guitar, Guiot
    Terz guitar, Guiot
  • Lyre-guitar, A. Thibaut, 1850
    Lyre-guitar, A. Thibaut, 1850
  • 6-string guitar, L. Panormo, 1840
    6-string guitar, L. Panormo, 1840
  • 6-string guitar, G. Martin, 1880
    6-string guitar, G. Martin, 1880
  • Miniature guitar, Parres y Co, 1890 c.
    Miniature guitar, Parres y Co, 1890 c.
English guitar, J. Preston, 1780
English guitar, J. Preston, 1780

And in the informal videos below (some of which made within one hour of the first contact with them!), one can grasp the creativity and variety of guitars design in the 18th- and 19th-centuries. Please note that most of these instruments hadn't been played for many years, either because they were 'museum' instruments, or because they were stored away in protective cases.

METHODS

Another interesting aspect of the collection lies in the amount of methods, most of which are first editions. The photos below show some selected examples of the material available.

  • Moretti's method for six-course guitar, 1807
    Moretti's method for six-course guitar, 1807
  • Lemoine's method for guitar or lyre, 1807
    Lemoine's method for guitar or lyre, 1807
  • Illustration from Lemoine's method for guitar or lyre, 1807
    Illustration from Lemoine's method for guitar or lyre, 1807
  • Ferandiere's method for guitar, 1816
    Ferandiere's method for guitar, 1816
  • Molino's method for guitar, 1825
    Molino's method for guitar, 1825
  • Illustration from Molino's method for guitar, 1825
    Illustration from Molino's method for guitar, 1825
  • Otto Torp's method, 1829
    Otto Torp's method, 1829
  • Illustration from Torp's method (right), clearly based on the one from Molino's method (left)
    Illustration from Torp's method (right), clearly based on the one from Molino's method (left)
  • Carcassi's method for guitar, 1835 (with the author's signature)
    Carcassi's method for guitar, 1835 (with the author's signature)
  • Sor's method, 1830
    Sor's method, 1830
Moretti's method for six-course guitar, 1807
Moretti's method for six-course guitar, 1807

RARE PRINTS & MANUSCRIPTS

The Spencer Collection also contains a fair amount of interesting prints and manuscripts, from signed first editions to music written on a hotel pad! Here are some examples:

  • 'Pouncing' effect, manuscript by Parrini (17th century)
    'Pouncing' effect, manuscript by Parrini (17th century)
  • Embossed paper, travel notebook, early 19th-century.
    Embossed paper, travel notebook, early 19th-century.
  • The famous Spanish Romance, in a manuscript from 1893, from J. Parga's method.
    The famous Spanish Romance, in a manuscript from 1893, from J. Parga's method.
  • A very rare manuscript by John Dowland (top).
    A very rare manuscript by John Dowland (top).
'Pouncing' effect, manuscript by Parrini (17th century)
'Pouncing' effect, manuscript by Parrini (17th century)

THE SPENCER SERIES

The Spencer Series took place at the Royal Academy of Music's Museum from September 2018 to July 2019, and was comprised of thematic lecture-recitals. The series, curated and presented by Fabricio Mattos in coordination with the RAM's Museum, Library, and Instruments Curator, explored some of the most interesting materials in the collection, as well as bringing to life some rare music from rare prints and manuscripts. Find below some examples of the themes included in the series.