Wednesday, February 15, 2006

 

I bought a cello!


I finally ordered my cello today! It turns out that the luthier does not normally ship cellos out of town for trial. They do ship violins and violas out - even just for trials. It seemed that they were concerned about shipping costs. I told him I was intending to go ahead and buy a Jay-Haide a l'ancienne cello, and that I'd pay 2nd day air ($280) and for the return shipping if for some unexpected reason (like it just doesn't sound right) I did want to return it. That changed everything.

They only have the Stradivarius and Ruggieri designs available right now. Sometimes they also have the Gofriller and Montagnana designs. The Jay-Haide a l'anciennes are widely known and apparently well-respected, but the warmest praise seems to go to the Ruggieri and the Montagnana. The Ruggieri is almost an inch wider on the bottom bout, and a bit shorter in height than the Strad. Its larger air volume produces a richer, darker sound. I'm looking forward to being able to make just that kind of cello sound.

I also ordered a J-H pernambuco wood bow with ebony frog and nickel-chrome fittings ($225), and a wide-body Bobelock plywood case ($375). The luthier needs a week to get it all setup and ready to ship. Waiting is going to be hard, especially after agonizing about it for so long. J is going to call me when it's ready to ship. I will also buy a wolf eliminator, get recommendations about polish, etc., humidifiers, and so on. To protect it from drying out, I'm going to have to store the new cello inside its closed case - with humidifiers. Bummer.

Today when I played, I felt like I was holding the bow better, and keeping my left arm up, the left thumb relaxed and the left fingers appropriately curled on the string. I still have to work on pivoting at my right elbow. I recognize slow but steady progress every day. I quickly went through my the first round of pieces and started to work on the new ones. Time slipped away.

Yesterday we closed on our land in Hawaii and agreed to buy the land here in Alaska. I'm using some of the excess profits to pay for the cello.

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