The culmination of fine Laubach cello craftsmanship and well selected, beautifully flamed aged old European tone wood, results in these outstanding cellos that are as impressive to look at as they are to listen to. Available in poplar in limited quantities.
Method of Construction
There are four cello models available: the Montagnana, the Goffriller, the Stradivarius 'Forma B', and the Stradivarius 'Forma B piccola.'
Each model is built according to the classical Italian method of violin making which uses an inside mold.
The top is made from spruce cut in the mountains of German Bavaria or the Italian province of Tyrol. Well aged, flamed maple is used for the back, ribs and scroll. Many of the Stradivarius model cellos are built with poplar for the back, maple for the ribs, and beech or cherry for the scroll.
Poplar gives the cello a dark, woodier sound as opposed to maple which has a brighter bell like quality.
All of the instruments are at least lightly antiqued, and most are heavily antiqued
This is a model of Janos Starker's Matteo Goffriller cello. The upper and C bouts are standard size, but the lower bout is quite large. These Characteristics give the cello a bright responsive upper register and a large bass. I have always been pleased with the ease of playing on the Goffriller model.
The forma Buono or forma B was so named by Strad himself as the "the good model" This is the most famous and commonly seen model of a cello. Charles Beare, the famous violin expert, said the following about the design:
"The 'Gore-Booth' cello of 1710 introduces the shape which Stradivari called 'forma B' and which has come to be regarded as the perfect design for the instrument. Twenty examples only of 'forma b' have survived, and most are famous instruments, indeed one or other of them has served as the model for every successful violin maker of the last two hundred years. As well as Rocco Fillipini, who is the present owner of the 'Gore-Booth', Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo Yo Ma are among the artists currently using a cello of this ideal pattern, which seems to embody the perfect combination of powerful sound, easy response of tone and manageable dimensions."
Later on Strad decided to narrow the 'forma B' into what is known as the 'forma B piccola.' the most famous example of this model is the 'De Munck' which was played for many years by Aldo Parisot and Steven Isserlis
Next to the great Cremonese makers (Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati, etc.), the work of the makers of Venice are held in the highest esteem both by musicians and connoisseurs. His work stands out among the Venetian makers as being the most refined and elegant.
The Montagnana is one of the most popular models. The cello outline is very wide and short. The width between the C bouts gives the cello a very broad, dark sound that projects evenly and warmly. This model is also known for its deep, booming bass. The sound has a clear warm projection in a hall without being harsh. It is well suited for Chamber music, and string quartet, since it lends a strong bass without overpowering the other players.
Ruggieri model cello in maple
Francisco Ruggieri worked in Cremona and came from the generation before Stradivari, in fact Ruggieri is a possible contender for the honour of having apprenticed the young Stradivari. Ruggieri is thought to have been a pupil of Nicolo Amati. His instruments show the influence of his master in the round shaped C-bouts and in the short, vertical f-holes with their tapered wings. He is credited with having built the first purpose-designed cellos; instruments up to that point would have been adapted viola da gambas.
It is interesting to compare the architecture of the Ruggieri model cello with that of Stradivari's "Forma B" model, today's cello industry standard (see below). As far as I can tell, the air volume in the bodies of the Strad and the Ruggieri are about the same. The lower and middle bouts are also similar. Stradivari gave his cello a slightly longer back, narrower top bouts and longer C-bouts. Overall, the Ruggieri has a squarer, bolder look than the elegant Strad.
The benefit of this extra breadth in the plates is evident when you play the instrument. This model has the powerful, growling C-string which is the foundation of the instrument's strong, rich sound.
Ruggieri Model with willow back
This example is perhaps more similar in style to the work of Francisco's son, Giacinto, whose instruments had a freer, more earthy finish. Tool marks give a feeling of movement and dynamism, varnish puddled in small nicks and facets add to the visual texture. The back is a single piece of willow. The varnish is a ruby-red and antiqued. A nice Ruggieri touch, which I have used on other cellos, is a cherrywood scroll and even matching cherry purfling.
Willow and poplar backs tend to produce warmer sounding instruments. Willow, being so light, also gives something of the feel of early instruments.
Stradivari "Forma B" Model
Strad's "Forma B" model is the quintessential cello design, copied in the millions in workshops and factories around the world. He arrived at this design having experimented with both larger and smaller body sizes. The narrow, rounded top bouts with the elongated C-bouts make a slim, elegant body which allows easier access to higher playing positions. For a violin maker one of the nice things about this model is the ease with which the arching flows from the outline. On earlier models, like the Ruggieri, the short C-bout causes a sudden cut into the arch, which must be handled carefully to avoid "pinching " the arching near the top of the f-holes.
The Forma B model gives a pure and strong tone, especially in the upper registers.
Parma, 1760. After Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu, the instruments of Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini are the most sought after both by soloists and collectors and are much more affordable. Guadagnini worked in five different cities during his career. The year before this violin was made, Guadagnini had moved from Cremona to Parma at the invitation of the ducal court of the Bourbons. He had already developed a reputation as one of the greatest makers of his time. This fine example has a wonderful warm, rich tone and is in an excellen.
Date: Lendinara (RO) Juin 24, 1686 - Venice, March 6, 1750.
Biography: A persistent literary tradition wanted him a pupil of A. Stradivari in Cremona, but probably did his apprenticeship in Venice, with Matteo Sellas, opening later, around 1712, his shop in Calle degli Stagneri, with a sign "Alla Cremona", which was later inherited by George Serafin, nephew of Santo Serafin.
Label: Dominicus Montagnana Sub Si- / gnum Cremonae Venetiis 17...
This Laubach cello is sophisticated needs. It produces a typical open and breathing sound, noble and powerful and elegant. The F-holes show functional understanding with brilliant skills and antique looking design