Cello (Italian violoncello, abbreviated. Cello, German Violoncello, French violoncelle, English cello) – stringed string instrument of the bass and tenor register, known from the first half of the XVI century
The cello has the same structure as the violin, but much larger sizes. They play the cello while sitting, putting it in front of themselves and resting it on the floor with a special leg with a point (spire).
History is remembered by two masters, especially famous for the production of cello. This is Gasparo da Salo and Paolo Magini. They lived at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the first of them, folk rumor attributed the honor of “inventing” a modern violin with four strings, quinte moods, improving violone, or double bass violin and, finally, creating a cello. The first masters who built the cello did not quite clearly understand the right path in the development of modern cello, which was completely completed, only by Antonio Stradivari.
What is a modern cello and what is it capable of in an orchestra?
– This instrument, like all other members of the string instrument family, has four strings tuned with bandages. They sound an octave below the viola and give Do and Sol a large octave and Re and La small. Thanks to this, the volume of the cello is very large, and the nature of its sound is extremely diverse. Each string of the cello has its own sound coloring, characteristic of one. The low register of the cello corresponds to the low male voice of bassa profundo and has a great fullness of sound. This section of the cello scale is very good in dark, mysterious and dramatic music.
Technically, the cello is a perfect instrument. She has access to all the technical subtleties inherent in the violin and viola, but for their reproduction they usually require more labor. In a word, the cello technique is more complicated than the violin, though equally brilliant. From the first days of the appearance of the cello in the orchestra and over the course of centuries, her position there was extremely unenviable, none of her contemporaries even guessed about the rich artistic and performing possibilities of the cello. Even in those days when music moved abruptly, the duties of the cello remained just as modest and even wretched. Such a great master of the orchestra as Johann-Sebastian Bach never once commissioned a cello of a singing part in which she could show off her qualities.
Beethoven was undoubtedly the first composer – a classic, who determined the true dignity of the cello and put it in that place in the orchestra, which is rightfully right for it. Somewhat later, the romantics – Weber and Mandelson – further deepened the expressive means of the cello in the orchestra. They already needed the sound of mysterious, fantastic and excited, and they, finding it in the sounds of the cello, used it in a most worthy manner.
It is quite fair to say that at present all composers deeply appreciate the cello – its warmth, sincerity and depth of sound, and its performing qualities have long won the hearts of both the musicians themselves and their enthusiastic listeners. After violin and piano, the cello is the most favorite instrument that composers turned their eyes to, dedicating their works to it, intended for performance in concerts accompanied by an orchestra or piano. Tchaikovsky used the cello especially richly in his works, Variations on the Rococo theme, where he presented the cello with such rights that he made this small work a worthy decoration of all concert programs, requiring genuine perfection in the ability to master his instrument.
The listeners are most likely to enjoy the Sans-Sans concert, and unfortunately the rarely performed triple concert for piano, violin and Beethoven’s cello. Among the favorite, but also quite rarely performed, are the cello concerts by Schumann and Dvorak. Now to completely. To exhaust the entire composition of bow instruments, now accepted in the symphony orchestra, it remains to “say” only a few words about the double bass.
The original “bass” or “double bass viola” had six strings and, according to Michel Corratt, the author of the famous “School for Double Bass”, which he printed in the second half of the eighteenth century, was called the Italians “violone”. Then the double bass was still so rare that even in 1750 the Paris Opera had only one instrument. What is a modern orchestral double bass capable of? In technical terms, the double bass should be recognized as a completely perfect instrument. The double basses are entrusted with completely virtuosic parts, performed by them with genuine artistry and skill.
Beethoven in his pastoral symphony, bubbling sounds of double bass very successfully imitates the howling of the wind, the sound of thunder and in general creates a full sensation of raging elements during a thunderstorm.