Product Review: Pirastro Perpetual Viola Strings
Pirastro has recently launched Perpetual for Viola. Pirastro say thanks to their innovative materials and adopting new, carefully matched production methods, the development of PIRASTRO Perpetual resulted in a string set with a character not yet found in their product family. “Within our range of viola strings, PIRASTRO Perpetual provides the largest sound volume and carrying power combined with a precisely focused sound projection. The clarity of its sound, however, does not diminish the abundance of colours Perpetual offers. Its vibrant tone attack and optimal string response seamlessly complement Perpetual's sound qualities from fortissimo to the most sensitive whisper.”
“The impressive tonal potential of our Perpetual product line provides fullness and radiance with an overwhelming ease. An important and absolutely remarkable feature of the Perpetual is their immediate reliability which allows the player to trust in the strings tuning stability directly after installation.”
We had one of our violists, Emily, try the new Perpetual strings with her instrument and store instruments. Here are her thoughts:
"After installing these strings to my instrument, I was immediately drawn to the very powerful and warm lower register. I found initially that the set lacked some of that warm in the upper register of the instrument, but I was pleasantly surprised by how responsive they were across the entire instrument.
They settled quickly onto my viola, especially in comparison to Pirastro’s Evah Pirazzi and Obligato sets. Initially, they seem to give my instrument a very broad tone as opposed to a slightly sweeter tone than something like a Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold or D’Addario Kaplan Amo set give. They seem suitable for both orchestral and solo playing. After letting them settle for a day on my instrument, the A string remained harsher in tone in comparison to the rest of the set. The C, G and D are warm and resonant without any extra vibration needed, which made them very easy to play. Bach’s C Minor Prelude was a joy to play on the lower strings, and they responded very well to different bow techniques found in this Prelude and others.
I left the Perpetual strings on my viola for one week to give them a longer chance to settle. The A string was still a little overpowering for my instrument, but the lower strings were extremely responsive and easy to play on. I imagine, like the cello strings, that they will not be too forgiving of poor bow technique. They are definitely geared towards advanced and professional players.
Overall, they are a powerful, loud and expressive set of strings, but I found it somewhat difficult to bring out more subtleties from the upper register.
I would recommend these strings to players looking for more power in the lower register, however, I would recommend trying the A string out and having an Obligato or Evah Pirazzi Gold A string available as a backup, just in case. Ultimately, I’ve decided these strings didn’t quite suit my instrument, but I would definitely recommend that advanced and professional violists give this set a try!"
The A string has a steel core with chrome steel winding, the D and G strings have a synthetic core with silver winding and the C string has a rope core with tungsten winding.
Pirastro offer the following information about the dynamic and expressive capabilities of the new Perpetual Set.
“Within our range of viola strings, PIRASTRO Perpetual provides the largest sound volume and carrying power combined with a precisely focused sound projection. The clarity of its sound, however, does not diminish the abundance of colors Perpetual offers. Its vibrant tone attack and optimal string response seamlessly complement Perpetual's sound qualities from fortissimo to the most sensitive whisper. The Perpetual viola strings react in an ideal way to the finest nuances in bow speed and pressure; this enables the musician to play with an extreme range of dynamics and expression. The innovative core material allows a comfortable smoothness during legato, shifting, string crossings, double stops and chords. The extended reverberation of the Perpetual brings forth the beauty of sound.”