Baroque cello – Basse de Violon

Baroque Cello performance has long fascinated me.  I have had the great fortune of producing bass instruments of the violin family, including three baroque Violone. The baroque cellos in piccolo sizes with corpus lengths of 60-69, and the 5-string violoncello piccolos have all possessed lovely bass/tenor voices despite their petite sizes. Larger corpus violoncelli currently being made can be seen on the workbench page

Violoncello, 70cm Corpus. A dream of Venice and Tyrol.

This cello has been my personal instrument for over a year, and possesses a remarkably dark, brooding richness of tone. The model is drawn by hand, reflecting Tyrol/Venetian forms.  Surprisingly, with a petite corpus of 70cm,  the C-string is roaring/chocolate/melancholic, with lots of projection. The antithesis of thinly made instruments which can sometimes sound loud, but thin and brash, it has been a favorite of visiting cellists in Coruna. Now available for sale in Spain.

Bass Violin after Simone Cimapane 2023.

A special commission for Tafelmusik in Toronto Canada, this very special bass violin will be used by their  principal cellist Keiran Campbell. The tone is monstrous, rich and dark. The charming and eccentric original is in the collection of the Orpheon Consort.

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5-String baroque Violoncello Vienna/La Corunna 2019.

This 69cm corpus piccolo violoncello has a rich and somber voice full of balanced, tonal color. I have spared no time or detail with the ornamental bridge, and female head.  Back and ribs of Italian poplar, top of antique bear claw spruce.

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5-String Cello personal model with Venetian/Füssen Inspiration.

For this 5 string cello I have taken Venetian outlines and templates to create a wide-model instrument with plenty of air volume. The high arching and longish soundholes all contribute to a tone which is sweet and brooding. The beautiful willow back was one of the finest tonal specimens I have come across in several years. Currently available in Vienna, Austria for trial and purchase.

5-String Baroque Cello after Venetian maker Martin Kaiser.

This baroque cello has a lovely, deep and rich melancholy voice, full of tonal color. The back of beautiful sycamore, top of Italian spruce aged over 20 years. (SOLD)

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Baroque cello 5-string violoncello piccolo. Inspired by Grancino 2014 .

For this 5 string baroque cello I have used willow for the back material as its damping qualities and density of grain structure tend to often achieve a pure, softer, antique tone. One can hear the silvery character of the instrument in the video link below. This is a very small corpus instrument at 64cm; the extra 5th string adds a rich and lovely upper tenor range with an equally impressive C string for such a small instrument. A very rapid and even response and overall balanced tonal range of sound was present in this violoncello. (SOLD) Audio samples of this instrument can be heard here.

Violoncello after Giovanni Francesco Celoniato

Celoniato worked in Turin ca. 1720-1760 and generally used Amati models to great success. Occasionally he produced violoncelli with smaller corpus sizes which nevertheless have very fine and deep tone. This instrument is made after the cello housed in the Royal Academy of music in London and has a corpus of 73.5cm. One curious attribute of this instrument is the use of lime wood (Linden) for the scroll head. (SOLD)

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Giovanni Francesco Celoniato violoncelloVioloncello willow backbaroque cello bridge Turin

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Baroque 5-string Violoncello Piccolo

A free interpretation of the 5 string violoncello piccolo played by baroque cellist Jennifer Morsches, this Amati Model cello had a lovely, balanced and powerful tone. The entire viola range can be reached with the extra E string making this a versatile bass-tenor instrument. (SOLD)

Basse de Violon inspired by Egidius Snoeck 1715

A commissioned instrument for the Early Music Department of McGill University in Canada. Photos of the instrument in progress can be seen on the on the workbench page. The model is after the Violone by Egidius Snoeck in Brussel, ca. 1715. This unique instrument is in the collection of the Dutch National Music Foundation.

Dutch National Music Foundation

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Baroque 5 String Violoncello.

This unique 5-string baroque violoncello piccolo was inspired by a Venetian instrument made ca. 1700 in the Orpheon Consort collection. The one piece back of beautiful pear wood gave a lovely soft speaking voice to this cello, with still much projection while maintaining its antique-sounding tone. Audio samples can be heard here (SOLD)

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