Stradivari cellos and contemporary copies of them are often criticised for lack of depth in the lower register. It is in this area that the ‘Marquis de Corberon’ is so exceptional. It has all the tonal elegance and golden colouring of the iconic Stradivarius sound but also great depth and richness in the C string. A significant factor behind this aspect of the cello is its one-piece willow back. Willow can sound a little softer under the ear than maple, but produces an extra depth of colour and darkness of tone without sacrificing core sound and therefore projects extremely well in a concert hall.
Another significant advantage of this model is that the arching of the front is particularly low and subtly arched; many other Forma B cellos have higher, fuller front arching and thinner graduations. It is thought that the best sounding Stradivari cellos are those with low front arching, as this allows the plate to vibrate more freely, providing greater vibrating mass for the player to connect with and creating the potential to move air in a very powerful way.
It is generally believed that Forma B Stradivari cellos have to be coaxed carefully – like nervy thoroughbreds – in order to get them to speak and perform at their best. Fortunately, the ‘Marquis de Corberon’ is not an extreme example of this (probably a factor of its thicker graduations and softer arching) so, by Stradivarian standards, you can play into the instrument more freely and it responds with more ease and warmth. The long body of the Forma B and Stradivari’s placing of the F holes result in a full string length, so this model is best suited to players who are comfortable with larger intervals in the left hand.