Posts Tagged ‘cello’

Cello repair

May 18, 2013

My cello is near a year old.

2 months ago I put in a set of Piranito, very wrong, within days I replaced it with Jargar “medium”. May be it’s a new set of strings my bow behaved funny upon a detailed look my teacher said it’s about time I get a better bow. I tried teacher’s bow all I said was … wow!

I took the cello for repair as soon as my exam is done. There are few things to fix (a) bridge is too high (b) sound post must have moved as the wolf is getting louder (c) a new bow.

Trimmed bridge from D to C

Alfred Knoll silver mounted

I think Larsen sounds best on my cello perhaps I’ll use that for next exam.

Exam again

May 9, 2013

I could have done this second exam end of last year, experience of torture every year is good. My last exam result was 4 marks better than my forecast.

I have a lot more preparation this time as I demanded more from myself. The 3 pieces were taught nearly a year ago and put aside, I spent more time flying than playing cello for the last few months of 2012. I managed two jobs at two locations for the first few months of this year, good excuses for poor result.

I worked with a new accompanist for 8 sessions, she said I’m normal. Once I got used to playing with piano I started to enjoy the noise I produced, then it’s done!

Today I felt good from the beginning as it was sunny in the morning transportation was smooth and I arrived early. My accompanist didn’t like the waiting but I was OK. I had also a short warm up at home before heading to exam venue it helped only a little. The warm up time I need is exceptionally long. The first piece which I like most was lack of sound quality and volume.

The examiner is a really nice guy, he joked as soon as I walked into the room to make me feel relaxed. I was still nervous as the stool was too high after the examiner helped to lower it as extra work that he is paid for, he joked.

Now time for another forecast.

I didn’t do too badly for the 3 pieces, 75 please!

Scale was bad, my mind was blank for the first one but examiner was kind enough to offer me chances by asking me to do a few more arpeggios. I may get only 16.

Sight-reading has never been my strong part, perhaps I’ll get 16.

I think I did pretty well on Aural, I should score 16 out of 18 like last exam.

About a month ago I found issues (strings, bridge and bow) with my instrument, timing was really bad it’s now gone for repair.

My first Cello

June 3, 2012

I started renting cello the day before I took this photo almost 3 years ago.

I’m not sure if my new toy is authentic as it doesn’t come with a certificate.   You know people can fake certificate. This could also be too cheap a model to have a certificate.

I tried a few here including Heinrich Gill model 304/334 and a Batoni.    The Batoni sounds better than the Gills.    I even played the HK$130k antique “instrument of the shop” there but the sound didn’t impress me. Outlook of the instrument doesn’t really matter to me but the antique looks really “too antique”.

This is a Reinhold Schanbl, the label is signed and marked 1998 (or 1098, model ?), bought here.





There was a “Lothar Semmlinger” which I considered good at the shop of similar price range but it has a loud Wolf tone at the usual pitch on G string, an eliminator was then added, then I found this Reinhold Schanbl. That one has a mellow tone on A and G strings which I like. I don’t like bright (metal like) and loud voice right at my chest.

I read from forums that Mr Reinhold Schanbl should be now near 80 if he’s still around there are some second hand cellos available in the market which are made in mid 70’s.    I couldn’t locate a website for his company but his son, who is known for making good cellos, has a website. Maybe I drop by Bubenreuth Germany next time I go to Europe.

Cello + Guitar

May 12, 2012

Was it Guitar + Cello?

I went to a recital by Yang Xuefei 楊雪霏 and Wang Jian 王健. From the posters, programme booklet and the performance (Yang played 2 solo pieces) it was obvious that Yan came before Wang.

The performance gave me an impression of the reverse. It was almost a solo recital by Wang Jian. Of course Wang played well, the sound volume of a guitar just can’t compete with a cello. It’s not Yang’s fault it must be something to do with the concert hall. There were 2 little speakers placed in front and behind Yang, I don’t think audience at the back of the hall enjoyed the music very well.

May be the combination of guitar and cello is only best for recording. I have vinyl albums for Paganini’s violin and guitar and 2 instruments are perfectly balanced. Niccolo Paganini was both a violist and guitarist that could also be a reason.

From 王健 bio here he plays a rare 1622 A & H Amati, graciously loaned to him by the family of the late Mr. Sau-Wing Lam. The “A & H” must be Antonio and Girolamo (Hieronymus), the sons of Andrea Amati (1511 – 1581) the first known maker of cellos according to this book.

I bought below CD before the recital. Have now listened from my phone I now believe the acoustic of the hall is partly to blame.