My latest custom cello build is a commissioned cello for a young player. We are building a Stradivarius cello, providing him with a powerful, even tone to carry him throughout his music career. Stradivarius cellos are a great build, they are not only beautiful but have a fantastic range of power for a brand new cello. As always all of my McDevitt made instruments are handmade with the finest selection of materials.
Featured in the selection of photos are the ribs being bent and glued. And the back selection of maple and rough cut out, ready for the arching to be started!
This has been the month of the cello! I had the opportunity to add a few more to the Fegley Collection this week. Quality cellos for sale under $5,000 are getting hard to find these days. With all of the inexpensive imports coming in I am happy that I can still purchase most of my inventory privately through players or retired players. I added two German cellos to my inventory this week. These cellos are in fine condition and are now available for trial! I also have an older American made cello by Joseph Kaye, a maker originally from Reading and made his way out to Pittsburgh where most of his instruments were a high quality and played in the local Symphony. If you are looking for quality cellos for sale that won’t break the bank Fegley’s is the place to come…
The Guadagnini cello is suntanned and ready for some varnish! The hard part is making sure to let your instruments get a nice base before jumping into varnish work… Easier said than done because you have this beautiful instrument in the white that you just spend endless hours making and perfecting. Then you need to wait to work on it once you are done. It doesn’t seem fair, but patience is the key! Allowing the instrument the proper time in the sun allows for the varnish process to go quicker and more smoothly.
Here is ‘Evergreen’ the Guadagnini 7/8 cello I have been hand making with a nice suntan and the first ‘ground coat’ prior to varnish. I am anxious to see how this little cello ends up sounding! A few more weeks of varnishing and cure time and this thing will be ready to sing!
As I continue with the 7/8 Guadagnini cello, I like to update my clients about the progress that has been made. I am very interested to see how this small Guadagnini cello model will throw the sound. I am use to making Stradivarius model cellos so it should be an interesting experiment to say the very least. Since the last blog about the 7/8th Guadagnini cello I have been moving right along. I plan to update the blog with one final post after I varnish the cello and set it up!
I have to be honest when I say that this Guadagnini cello build has been quite different from what I am use to. I normally focus my handmade cellos on Stradivarius models. Stradivarius instruments were made with a precision that left his instruments quite remarkable and refined. Guadagnini instruments dance on the boarder of a rough build, making his instruments with haste, leaving behind many signs of tool marks, heavy outlines and edges. Most musicians aren’t familiar with the Guadagnini name, they mostly hear of the Stradivarius and Guarneri instruments. But as players become more educated, the Guadagnini name has grown tremendously in collectability and with players around the world!
Giovanni Battista Guadagnini is one of my favorite makers! Guadagnini is regarded as the greatest maker of the second half of the 18th Century! Not one of the greatest, but thee greatest… His career expanded of 44 years and his original style produced some of the best sounding instruments in history! Guadagnini lived an interesting life and unlike most makers he moved from city to city quite a bit throughout his violin-making career. He finally ended up in Turin in 1771, where he met the well-known Count Cozio who later became a patron of his work. Cozio was responsible for the commission of some of Guadagnini’s finest works. In 1774 Cozio gained control of the remaining articles of the Stradivari workshop from Stradivari’s grandson, Paolo. This allowed Guadagnini the opportunity to acquaint himself with the great Stradivari’s work first hand. After this time he adopted Stradivari’s models, using them more frequently. What a lucky guy!
This is my latest Guadagnini copy, which is a 7/8 cello! As a modern maker we are spoiled with great articles and books about old masters. I love taking the time to study fine instruments to see the details that the maker left behind!