Cello Models



The Montagnana is one of the most popular models of cello. The outline of the cello body is wide and short. The widths between the C-bouts gives the cello a broad, dark sound that projects evenly and warmly. The sound has a clear, wide projection in a hall without being harsh. It is well suited for chamber music since it lends a strong bass without overpowering the other voices.



This cello is a model of Janos Starker's Matteo Goffriler cello. I had the privilege of examining Mr. Starker's cello on several occasions and the honor of building a copy for Mr. Starler. The upper bouts and c-bouts are a standard size, but the lower bouts are larger than normal. These characteristics give the cello a bright responsive upper register and a large bass. This has become one of my more popular models.


Stradivarius 'Forma B' and 'Forma B Piccola'

The forma Buono or forma B was so named by Stradivarius himself as 'the good model'. This is the most famous and commonly seen model of cello. Charles Beare, a famous violin expert, said the following about this 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 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 Munch', which was played for many years by Aldo Parisot, and is now owned by Steven Isserlis. I had the pleasure of examining this cello several times, and I have made a number of copies.