A new cello, and Oblivion performance

2012 Dec 16

Recently I purchased a new cello. This had not been in my plans, and was a surprise to me.

This actually is news, and I'm not repeating myself!   :-)

When I purchased a cello last year, I played quite a few cellos including some that were above of my price range. I wanted to see what other people considered to be more ideal sounds. There was one cello that I remembered in particular because I didn't understand its correlation between price and sound.

Two cellos on a table

A couple of months ago I took my cello back for a checkup. I found the other cello I remembered and played it a bit. Then I looked at the price - it was less than half of what it was before! So, I asked for the story:

The cello was made by Andrew Pitts, a guy from L.A. that lives and works in Prague. As a do-it-yourself-er, he was building a new shop and was needing funds to put in the electrical panel. So he had called my instrument shop and asked how he could turn that existing cello into cash. The answer was to drop the price.

I went home, and talked it over with Melanie. I was wowed when she said I should go for it, so I went back to the shop to take the cello out on trial. (The Pitts cello is on the picture right.)

The guy at the shop had said that Andrew's cellos produce an amazing sound after they were played in. I still couldn't hear it when I alternated between the cellos. However, just about everybody else decidedly preferred the new cello. Finally I made a recording of myself playing. It was then that I could hear the richness and crispness of the new cello. How interesting that at the playing position, I couldn't distinguish it as well! I decided to go for it and have been delighted with the instrument.

I had been playing cello quite a bit since my purchase the year before. But, I also wanted to take lessons, so I signed up with a teacher this fall. This change has been interesting because I had not been a music student since high school. Ellen, however, has been a great teacher.

I had an arrangement of Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla, a duet that I could play with Melanie. It was a good challenge.

Although I took a video, it didn't come out well enough to share. The audio was fine, but please ignore a crash sound in the room. :-)

Audio of Larry & Melanie:

Performance of Oblivion (Astor Piazzolla)

Larry and Melanie performing