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cellopera

A little inspiration in difficult times...

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As much as I dislike self-promotion of any kind, I would like to share with you a recent clip played on my French anonymous Cello (ca. 1830). The bow is a E.N. Sartory.

 

 

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Nothing wrong with a little self-promotion!!!

:)

Wunderschoen gespielt!

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17 minutes ago, antero said:

bis!

Thank you all, glad you liked it! Here is an arrangement I made a few years ago:

Same Cello but with a different setup and 415Hz tuning.

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2 hours ago, cellopera said:

As much as I dislike self-promotion of any kind, I would like to share with you a recent clip played on my French anonymous Cello (ca. 1830). The bow is a E.N. Sartory.

 

 

Nothing to apologize for. Your playing is wonderful, the cello is lovely, the camera work is horrible. Why do the camera people have to constantly, like every few seconds, change the  view? They ignore the music. We never get to see what we want to see, which is a cellist.

 This is actually better than most, but I want to see a full-bodied view that doesn’t move.  This dashing about makes one dizzy. I could continue, but complaining about the visual is irrelevant. What matters is the sound, and yours is outstanding. Love your 2-4 trill.

Edited by PhilipKT

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Comparing the two recordings, I do prefer the spiciness  of the modern setup combined with the higher tuning.

The older setup, as presumed and presented, is dipping into the gutbucket sound realm. I do think it's important to stress that past string tensions were all over the place, and so were "A" pitches. Tuning modern strings down to a 415 A probably does not represent the way baroque instruments really sounded.

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17 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Comparing the two recordings, I do prefer the spiciness  of the modern setup combined with the higher tuning.

The older setup, as presumed and presented, is dipping into the gutbucket sound realm. I do think it's important to stress that past string tensions were all over the place, and so were "A" pitches. Tuning modern strings down to a 415 A probably does not represent the way baroque instruments really sounded.

That was a very good observation, steel strings do not feel at home with the 415Hz tuning. I wholeheartedly agree, modern strings are ˋin their world´ (also tested) at 440 to 443 Hz. This was just a small experiment for me. I prefer the higher tuning, since it increases projection instantly and brings the natural resonance of the strings to balance better. From a purely physical point of view from the player, the vibrations of the back/ribs of a cello tell the story. The more tension on the bridge, the more condensed and intense the vibrations of the back and lower ribs. The Cello is a very physical creature.

On another note, I remember a few years ago asking Yo-Yo Ma backstage the reason why he always tunes the Cello higher when playing with an orchestra. The response: „More Sound!“

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8 hours ago, cellopera said:

The more tension on the bridge, the more condensed and intense the vibrations of the back and lower ribs.

 

I will disagree. There is a "sweet spot" for tension on an instrument, and different instruments may want different values. Get tension either too high or low for a particular instrument, and both sound and playability will suffer.

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6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I will disagree. There is a "sweet spot" for tension on an instrument, and different instruments may want different values. Get tension either too high or low for a particular instrument, and both sound and playability will suffer.

You mean the tension of a soundpost, right? If you mean tension by tuning up the instrument, that could be such a bummer. If my Cello would sound better at 440 Hz (or lower), I wouldn’t be able to use it in Germany. The usual tuning here for the orchestras is 442 or 443 Hz, and even 444 Hz in some. 

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3 hours ago, cellopera said:

You mean the tension of a soundpost, right? If you mean tension by tuning up the instrument, that could be such a bummer. If my Cello would sound better at 440 Hz (or lower), I wouldn’t be able to use it in Germany. The usual tuning here for the orchestras is 442 or 443 Hz, and even 444 Hz in some. 

I'm talking about the string tension. If you take one string (say the D string) and start tuning it up in quarter-step increments (you can probably go as far as a major third without breaking the string), and then do the same in the opposite direction, (no limit on how far you can go tuning down), you will probably find a spot where the cello gets really happy. If adjusting the tension of one string won't find this spot, you might need to do this with two strings at the same time. (When doing this, you play the strings which remain at normal tension to evaluate the change, not the tweaked strings.)

When you find this spot, the cello can probably be adjusted with a combination of string gauge, soundpost position, and afterlength to give this sound and feel at your usual performance pitch.

 

 

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5 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I'm talking about the string tension. If you take one string (say the D string) and start tuning it up in quarter-step increments (you can probably go as far as a major third without breaking the string), and then do the same in the opposite direction, (no limit on how far you can go tuning down), you will probably find a spot where the cello gets really happy. If adjusting the tension of one string won't find this spot, you might need to do this with two strings at the same time. (When doing this, you play the strings which remain at normal tension to evaluate the change, not the tweaked strings.)

When you find this spot, the cello can probably be adjusted with a combination of string gauge, soundpost position, and afterlength to give this sound and feel at your usual performance pitch.

 

 

Incredible information. I have done a lot of experiments on my instrument the past few years but never something like this. Thank you for letting me know, I will definitely investigate! The latest successful experiment (done by a luthier) was shaving wood from the back of my Bois d‘Harmonie Tailpiece to reduce its weight. I was reluctant to try it but the result was unexpected. It opened up the higher register and improved the overall response.

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