Instruments

Cellos

Guadagnini Model

Modell Violoncello "Guadagnini", 1723

Montagnana Model

Model based on violoncello from c. 1742

Domenico Montagnana (Cremona, b. 1683 d. 1756) Body Length 75.3cm (29 ") The Instrument Listening to Frans Helmersson's recording of the Bach Suites gives one a pretty good idea of how this cello sounds. It has a variety of sound colours which may be used to good effect in different situations. Combined with sonority and brilliance, its ability to project well also makes it the ideal instrument to play in a large hall. The acoustic box, however, ensures that the bottom end sounds dark and warm. Montagnana's work is a major inspiration for all my instruments, not just celli. I love the structure, texture and colour of his dark reddish varnish and the uniquely compact form of the box, which is round and full with somewhat wider bouts. The f-hole design on this Montagnana is my all-time favourite and I find the way that the upper corners stand open on top of the rounded bout fantastic. The edge work and purfling are artistically and skilfully placed. The scroll on this model is, however, heavily influenced by Pietro Guarneri of Venice, a contemporary of Montagnana.
 
About Montagnana Montagnana was a pupil of Amati and possibly also of Stradivari. Whilst nowhere near as prolific a maker as his teachers and colleagues, Montagnana's contribution to violin making was nonetheless significant. It is likely that the stylistic predominance of the concerto in eighteenth century Venetian instrumental music forced makers to produce instruments especially suited to solo playing. Hence, Montagnana's cellos are particularly sought after as solo instruments for their strength of sound and imposing presence.
Stradivari's "Davidov" Model

Model based on violoncello "Davidov " 1712

Antonio Stradivari (Cremona, b. 1644? d.1737)
Body length 75.7cm (29, 3/4")

About the instrument
One of the most famous cello by Stradivari, The original "Davidov" has been heard around the world. It was played by Jacqueline du Pré, and Yo-Yo Ma currently plays on it. Larger than the later "De Munck", the instrument is however one of the 20 cellos built by Stradivari with the more manageable specifications of the B pattern. It was going to become the standard design of most early 19th century cellos.

About Stradivari
Stradivari became one of the most prolific contributors to violin making in this period, and perfected elements of the modern violin that have become legendary today. As well as experimenting with varnish, he changed notions about thickness and arching as well as shape and contours. He and his workshop produced some 1500 violins, celli and violas, (the notion of individual work did not exist at the time) 600 from which still exist.

Stradivari's "De Munck" Model

Model based on violoncello "De Munck" c. 1730

Antonio Stradivari (Cremona, b. 1644 d. 1737)
Body Length 74.5cm (29 ")

The Instrument
The De Munck pattern (or "B Picola" pattern) was first introduced by Stradivari around 1726, with a reduced back of 74.5 cm. It is thought that, had the maker come to such development earlier in his life, this pattern could have become the template for the modern cello.

Made to a slightly smaller scale, yet lacking nothing, this is the ideal cello for those seeking an instrument with a shorter string length. Well balanced and elegant, it has an incredibly dark, warm yet powerful sound.

The original instrument can be heard played by Steven Isserlis.

About Stradivari
Stradivari became one of the most prolific contributors to violin making in this period, and perfected elements of the modern violin that have become legendary today. As well as experimenting with varnish, he changed notions about thickness and arching as well as shape and contours. He died leaving behind him some six hundred violins, celli and violas.

Krattenmacher Model

The Instruments

Inspired by Montagna, this is my own model, sounds dark and pithy downstairs, with lots of sonic colors on top.