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9 October 2012

Violoncello da Spalla, History, Theory, Reality (violin-maker Dmitry Badiarov lecture at Utrecht Conservatoire

Utrecht Conservatoire  08.10.2012; 10:15 - 12:15 (hand-out; PDF available from the secretary)

Small sized bass instruments exist at least since the mid 16th century. 
Bas de violon of Jambe de Fer, 1556. It was played suspended on a strap. In iconography archaic (14-15cc pre-consort type) instruments prevail.

Early small or large bass instrument names were
not standardized. 

Large instruments were known under the following names: 
basso di viola (Firenze, c. 1688), 
violone (as from 1610, outside Venezia), 
violone basso (northern Europe), 
violone da brazzo, 
viola da brazzo (Venezia, as from 1663), 
viola (Venezia, from 1644), 
Violone grande o contrabasso (Bismantova).

Small instruments were known under the following names: 
bassetto (mainly Ferrara and Mantua, 1674-1693), 
bassetto di viola (as above), 
violetta (Chierici and Petri), 
violoncino (Bergamo, Bologna, Venezia), 
Viola di fagotto, 
Viola da spalla, 

Instruments of undetermined size: 
basso viola da brazzo (Legrenzi), 
basso da brazzo (Buonamente), 
violone piccolo, 
viola da braccio (Legrenzi), 
vivola da brazzo (Monteverdi), 
Viola da collo (Jerusalemme Liberata).

Musical and Archival Documentation

Small bass instrument, a candidate for the future violoncello can be traced in musical material from the first decades of the 17th century.

Bassetto di viola
1626, Biagio Marini, a sonata in a collection published in this year.
Violone piccolo
1629, at the Feast of the Assumption in Bergamo  Alessandro Grandi employs the term violone piccolo.

1641, the first reference to Violoncino & Violonzono in Giovanni Battista Fontana (d. 1630-1) op.1, published posthumously.
Violoncino, Violonzono 
Candidate for violoncello existed since before 1630th. 
1626, Bassetto di viola in Biagio Marini  
1629, Violone piccolo in Alessandro Grandi and
1630-31, Violoncino, Violonzono in Fontana are the same or very similar 
The compass required in Sonata N°9 (Fontana, Violonzono) is D-d'. It is consistent with the tuning given by Bismantova in 1677.


1665, the first use of the term in its modern form - Violoncello – by Giulio Cesare Arresti
N.B. Arresti, (maestro di capella, hereafter M.D.C.) M.D.C. at San Salvatore, and organist at San Petronio, and one of the founders of the Accademia Filarmonica in 1666 was the first to use the term violoncello in a print published in Venice: Sonate a 2. & a Tre. Con la parte del Violoncello a beneplacito.

1667, Placuzzi uses the term in a Bolognese print. 
1674, Arresti reinstates as M.D.C. at San Petronio, and the term violoncello first appears at San Petronio, Bologna.

N.B. In 1670th Bologna knew at least two forms of the term – violoncello and violoncino. 


Bolognese print calling for the violoncino appears in 1674, published by an outsider Simpliciano Olivo of Parma. The compass required is D-e', again, as in case with Fontana, it is consistent with Bismantova (1677).
Most likely the terms (violoncello, violoncino) were used for the same instrument.

Musical and archival materials suggest that Violoncello in all its forms was not popular, which also can be seen in iconography of the period. (beware, iconography should not be equated with the modern-day snap-photo aesthetics: visual arts have their own rules, and the point is usually not documentary representation of facts). 

A beneplacito
Prints often mention that Violoncello was an optional instrument, often despite the importance of the bass part.

Da Spalla is technique, not instrument 
Musician would use his/her musical judgement in the choice of the instrument size.
Similarly, violinists chose how to hold the violin (with the chin or without the chin- support, for example, and composers never specified this in their scores. Of course, an instrument made specifically for that purpose is more convenient in comparison with the one not made to be played by a violinist 

  N.B.  Composers omitted mentioning “da spalla” because it refers to the technique. Ex., mentioning “concerto for violin chin-on” would be hilarious. 

Inconsistency of terminology can be seen in a number or prints: 

1678, Giovanni Maria Bononcini (violinist and violoncellist): 
Op. 12, 1678, consists of three part books – Violino primo, Violino secondo, and Violone (no BC). The bass instrument is referred to in the title as Violone, but in the part book it is called Violoncello.

1656 – 1694, the first appearance of the term violoncino in Venice, in Cavalli's Musiche Sacre (1656).

Cavalli suggested that the part for the violoncino could be omitted.

1678, Andrea Grossi in Mantua, the instruments on the title are "due violini e v iolone," but the bass partbook is labelled Bassetto. 

In another work Andrea Grossi on the title page asks for Violone, but the partbook calls it a Violoncello.

1693, church sonatas by the Bolognese Giovanni Buoni, the instruments specified in the title are "due violini e violoncello," the partbook is labelled Bassetto.

Violoncino – Violoncello was the same or similar instrument and Violone was bigger.

1678-1681, Santa Maria Maggiore, Giovanni Battista Quaglia, M.D.C., regularly includes a violoncino, in the company of the violino, violetta or viola, and violone.

1691, Francesco Ballarotti, the new M.D.C. at the same location uses violoncello with violino, viola, and occasionally violone.

Violoncino & Violoncello as a replacement for the Violone. 
1701,  the violoncellist permanently replaces the violonist in the concerto at Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo.

Double bass
Contrabasso begins to reappear in 1692 and in 1701 a contrabassist is identifiable as a regular member. 

Neither public no publishers want the new instrument 
Bolognese violoncellist-composers 
Giovanni Battista Vitali (c. 1644-1692), 
Petronio Franchesini (c. 1650-1680), 
Domenico Gabrielli (c. 1659-1690), 
  never published anything for the instrument (except works in manuscript for violoncello by Gabrielli).

This implies that Violone was the preferred bass instrument. However G.M.Bononcini according to the iconographic source uses violoncello though the print asks for the Violone.

Written documents (facsimiles) 
Bartolomeo Bismantova,  Compendio Musicale, (Ferrara, 1677) is the earliest known description of the violoncello da spalla.

Bartolomeo Bismantova in Compendio Musicale gives a diatonic fingering for  his Violoncello da spalla alla moderna.  This implies a size of a large tenor viola, except that it should have a double volume of air in the sound box.

Bismantova's tuning - a, d, G, D(C) tightly fits much of the earliest repertory for violoncello:
1651, Fontana, Violonzono in Sonata N°9 (the compass is D-d'),
1674, Simpliciano Olivo of Parma (the compass is D-e'),
1683, Verona, Gasparo Gaspardini (the compass of D-f').

German documents are more numerous than the Italian (in case of iconography it is the opposite). These documents include:
Johann Mattheson - Das Neu-eroffnete orchestre (Hamburg, 1713)
Joseph Friederich Bernhard Caspar Majer - Museum Musicum (Schwabisch Hall, 1732)
Johann Phillipp Eisel - Musicus Autodidacticus (Augsburg, 1738)
Jakob Adlung – Anleitung zu der musikalischen Gelahrtheit (Erfurt: J.D.Jungnicol, 1758).
Petri, Mozart.

Johann Mattheson - Das Neu-eröffnete Orchestre (Hamburg, 1713), §22:
    “The excellent Violoncello, the Bassa Viola, and the Viola di Spala [sic] are small bass violins in comparison with the larger ones with five or six strings, upon which one can play all manner of rapid things, variations, and ornaments with less work than on the larger machines. Additionally, the Viola di Spala, or Shoulder-Viola produces a great effect when accompanying because it cuts through strongly and can express the notes clearly. A bass [line] cannot be brought out more distinctly and clearly than on this instrument. It is attached by a band to the chest and as if thrown on the right shoulder, and thus has nothing that in the least holds back or prevents its resonance.”

J.F.B.C. Majer - Museum Musicum (Schwabisch Hall, 1732)

Johann Phillipp Eisel - Musicus Autodidacticus (Augsburg, 1738)

Jakob Adlung's Anleitung zu der musikalischen Gelahrtheit, 1758, is the most explicit document literally equating Viola da spalla with the violoncello: p.599: “Violoncello heiß auch Viola di Spala”.

“Violoncello is called Viola di Spala”. 

N.B. The latest known (Bolognese) iconographic source is dated 1747. Thus, the practice of playing a smaller or larger violoncello on the shoulder persisted into the middle of the 18th century.


Violoncello, Violoncello da spalla and Viola da spalla are the same instrument played on the shoulder:
Bismantova's violoncello da spalla and Tevo's viola da spalla are the same instruments.
17th century Venetian use of “viola” to designate a bass part (Z.Tevo, Giovanni Buonaventura Viviani, Sonatas, 1673, etc.) and violoncello (without modifier da spalla) imply that viola in certain context, violoncello and viola da spalla were interchangeable terms, and the first – violoncello - being the most common.

Further musical evidence on interchangeability can be deduced from musical and historical context itself. In every case, the choice of instrument (as well as playing posture) was left by the composer for the performer.

G.M.Bononcini, Varii Fiori.. includes only the Violone in the print, however we know that Bononcini played  the violoncello in this music. 

Corelli, La Folia for violin and violone. Violone part is unplayable on a large sized instrument.  

The same is valid for Vivaldi's Winter, 2nd mvt, Manchester version.

It needs to be cleared that da spalla and da braccio were not interchangeable terms:

Zaccharia Tevo, 1706, Il Musico Testore (Venice; Bortoli), p. 309, makes a clear distinction between violas da braccio, da spalla, and da gamba:

“Instruments in use are violins, cornettos, and trumpets, which play the highest parts; violas da braccio, which play the alto and tenor parts, violas da gamba and da spalla, bassons, and trombones, which play the bass part; and violones and theorbos, which play the continuo. With... these instruments are played large compositions, such as Psalms and Masses”.


Large instruments played on shoulder and suspended on a belt can be seen as early as 14th century:
Jongleresse Agnes, Bible of Vaclave IV, Bohemia, ca. 1340; BU, ms. 412, fol.72.

1565-70, Hans Mielich, Orlando Lasso surrounded by instrumentalists and singes of the chapel of th Duke of Bavaria at Munich – Detail.
A large instrument played(?) across the chest or supported against the edge of the table.

1625, Daniel Rabel, France. Theatrical decoration for Ballet des féwes des fôrets de Saint Germain.

Large and small bass instruments played on the shoulder can be seen in a number of French pictures. 

Jacchini's pupil Buffagnotti, in Torelli, op.4 : 1687, Giuseppe Torelli, Concertino per Camera, Op.4 – violoncello part.

Buffagnotti was not only a skilful engraver, a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, but was a capable pupil of Giuseppe Jacchini.
In his turn, Jacchini was a student of Domenico Gabrieli.

Transcription of the membership record:
   Se fù il Buffagnotti bravo Pittore da Prospettive, e diligente incisore in rame, non si mostro debole di spina nella professione della Musica, mentre della Scuola di Giuseppe Jachini ne ricavò quel profito, che il fecero con tali. Virtù restare nella nostra Accademia aggregato entro l'anno 1695. come dal libretto d[e]l Colettore entro la filza 3.11.24 appare. Incise altresi un'opera Musicale adornata di varij rabeschi, & intitolata    ..    
   P.Giammbattista Martini, Aggregazzione ... .d. 

Other iconography includes Gian Giacomo Barbelli, Glorificazione di Maria, 1641, Crema (Cremona), S.Maria delle Grazie. 

Giovanni Pistocchi, a violinist at San Petronio makes sketches, dated ca. 1669, in the violino primo partbook of G.M.Bononcini's op.3, showing Bononcini with a violoncello, Archangello [Corelli?] with a violin, and Romano [?] with a theorbo.

“Insignia degli Anziani di Bologna” depicts specific events in Bolognese history during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Illustrations show ceremonies dated 1705 and 1747.

1752-54, anonymous engraving, “Concert Italien”, Paris: Scarlatti, Tartini, Sammartini, Locatelli, and Lanzetti.

Lanzetti (c.1710-c.1780) “brought the violoncello into favour [in England - d.b.], and made us nice judges of that instrument”, (Ch.Burney, A General History of Music..., 1789) 

The earliest violoncellists

1602, Gioseffo Dalmasoni detto il Moro, listed as a player of "il violino, il basso”, “violino, viola et violone”, “violino, viola da brazzo, et violone”, and “violone grande” (1614), at Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo (served from 1600 to 1629). 

Cremonese Giovanni Battista Moresco (served 1630-1657), Francesco Moresco (served 1630-1667)(Dalmasoni's successors), "il violino e violon basso", “sonatori di viole”.

N.B. Violoncello, Violoncello da spalla and Viola da spalla are interchangeable terms.

1688, Antonio Caldara is listed among the instrumentalists of San Marco as a performer on the viola da spalla.
1694, A.Caldara is listed as a performer on the violoncino.
1700, A.Caldara calls himself a violoncellist in  Suonate à tre, due Violini con Violoncello, e parte per l'Organo, Op.1 (Venice: Gioseppe Sala); Sartori, Bibliografia, 1700e.

Lazzaro Norsino, an occasional string player in Santa Maria Maggiore from 1644 to 1666. Giovanni Battista Crivelli (M.D.C.) identifies his instrument as the violino.

In 1653, under Giovanni Legrenzi, organist, M.D.C., Norsino plays the viola, violoncino, and violone.

In 1645 (anon. document), Norsino is associated with the viola da brazzo.

ca. 1669, G.M.Bononcini, violinist, shown by Pistocchi as violoncellist. 

Domenico Gabrieli,  
Giuseppe Jacchini,
Gasparo da Salo (hired as a player of violone in 1604, Santa Maria, the feast of Assumption); 

later 18th century, Corrette, 19th century...


Gasparo da Salo (hired as a player of violone in 1604, Santa Maria, the feast of Assumtion); four or five instruments attributed to da Salo. One of these, in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan, has the body length of 60 centimeters. Original size is unknown.


Paper templates attributed to Stradivari (no serious study as to the origin or age of the templates is done up to his moment) bear hand inscriptions “Modello per il Violoncello”. 

Small violoncellos attributed to J.C.Hoffmann 1724 (Brussels MIM), 1741 (Leipzig, lost), 172? (Leipzig MIM) and Snoeck (Brussels MIM).

J.Ch.Hoffmann in Brussels and Leipzig.
Snoeck in Brussels.
other 40+ instruments 
(see D.Badiarov, in Galpin Society Journal)

Many original small violoncellos da spalla were rebuild into large violas or small violoncellos or viols. 

Early Repertoire

In Italy

The use of Violoncello is feasible in almost every piece written in the 2nd half of the 17th century, designated for Violoncello, Bassetto, Violone etc.
The size of the instrument and playing posture were at the choice of the player.


Marco Uccellini, born about 1603 possibly in Modena, died in Forlimpopoli in 1680. The founder of Modena school.
From ca.1640 to 1665 he directed instrumental music at the Este court (music has not survived).

First libro is lost. From Op.2, 1639, to Op.9, 1667, his output includes ca.100 Sonatas, 75 sinfonias, 75 correnti, 25 arias, and 20 various compositions.
No violoncello mentioned in scores, however its use is feasible; see Bononcini's use of violoncello in the same context in ca.1669.

Gioseppe Colombi , born in 1635 in Modena. 

At the age of 25 he was appointed capo degli strumentisti del Serenissimo Duca di Modena. In 1674 he became assistant chapelmaster at the court and in 1678 first chapelmaster at the cathedral, positions he held until his death in 1694. His entire life was spent in Modena, where Bononcini and Vitali (from 1674) also were active.
First publication, 1668, Sinfonie da camera, Brandi e Correnti alla francese, con Corrente & Arie da Camera, e Suonate per suonare a due, a tré, & a quatro... It consists of 23 compositions. Colombi is the second composer after Buonamente to renounce the use of a keyboard instrument (in trios of 1626 and 1629), and is the first to write for string quartet (2 violins, viola and basso).

Op.4, 1676, Sonate a due Violini con un Bassetto Viola se piace...

G.M.Bononcini, born in 1642 in Montecorrone (near Modena), died in 1678 in Modena. Together with Uccellini, Vitali and Colombi he belongs to the violin school of Modena; 
close relationship to the Este court. Nine books with violin music, from Opus 1 in 1666 to Opus 12 in 1678: 29 sonatas, 180+ pieces, and 15 canons.
In op.3, though the scoring does not include violoncello  Bononcini is shown by Pistocchi with a violoncello.

Op. 12, 1678, consists of three part boos – Violino primo, Violino secondo, and Violone (no BC). The bass instrument is referred to in the title as Violone, but in the part book it is called Violoncello.

Tomaso Antonio Vitali, born in Bologna in 1663. In 1674 he moved to Modena and in 1675 he became a musician at the Este court. Later he was made chapelmaster there. Died in Modena in 1745.

First publication, Op.2, Sonate à tre, Due Violini, e Violoncello, col Basso per l'Organo, appeared in 1693, 12 Sonatas. (Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo; Belgium: Brussels, KCB).

Op.3, 1695, Sonate da camera a tre, doi violini e violone.
Italy: Torino, Biblioteca nazionale universitaria.

Op.4, 1701, Concerto di sonare a violino, violoncello, e cembalo.
Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo.


Giuseppe Torelli  
born in Verona in 1658. Studied probably in Bologna. In 1684 was adopted into the Accademia Filarmonica and in 1686 he entered the chapel of San Petronio. From 1698 to 1700 he was in Augsburg, Vienna and Ansbach, where in 1698 he had been raised into maestro di concerto for the Margrave of Brandenburg. In 1701 he returned to Bologna, where he died in 1709.

Op.4, no date, Concertino per Camera a Violino e Violoncello.
Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo; UK: London, BL; France: Paris, BN.

Op.5, 1692, Sinfonie a tre e concerti a quattro. Basso – Tiorba ò Violone, BC – Organo e Violoncello. Italy: Bologna, CM, Archivio di San Petronio; UK: Oxford BL. 

Bertolomeo Bernardi 
was probably born in Bologna about 1660, where he became a student of Torelli. In his Opus 1 (1692) he calls himself Academico filarmonico. He spent his later life in Copenhagen, where in 1703 he wzs musician of the royal chapel and in 1710 its master. He died there in 1732. 

Op.1, 1692, Sonate de camera a tre, due violini e violoncello col violone, o cimbalo... 
Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo; UK: London, BL.

Op.2, 1696, Sonate de camera a tre, due violini e violoncello, con il basso per l'organo... 
France: Paris, BN; NL: Utrecht, Instituut voor Muziekwetenschap der Rijksuniversiteit. 

Pirro Albergati 
was born in 1663 in Carati, of a noble family (in the titles of his publications he calls himself Conte d'Albergati). He was a friend of Corelli, and Bononcini dedicated music to him. Apart from accepting the post of MDC in Puiano in 1728, he seems to have led the life of an enlightened amateur. Albergati was most active in Bologna, where he wrote oratorios, cantatas, and operas, and where he died about 1735.

Op.2, 1683, Suonate a due Violini con suo Basso continuo per l'Organo, & un altro a beneplacito per Tiorba, ò Violoncello. Contains 12 sonatas.
Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo; UK: Oxford, BL.

Op.5, 1687, Pletro armonico composto di dieci sonate da camera à due violini, e basso con violoncello obligato. 
Italy: Bologna, CM, Archivio di San Petronio, Modena, Biblioteca Estense; UK: London, British Library. 

Giovanni Battista Bononcini 
born in 1670 in Modena, the son of Giovanni Maria Bononcini, was a child proigy. As early as 1688 he was MDC in Bologna at San Giovanni in Monte. Between 1692 and 1693 he was in Rome; from 1698 to 1712 he was active in Vienna and from 1720 until about 1732 in London. He died in 1747 in Vienna.
Op.4, 1686, Sinfonie  Istromenti, col Basso per l'Organo. Dedicated to Count Piro Albergati. The bass played by a violoncello.
Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo; UK: London, BL.

Op.5, 1687, Sinfonie da chiesa a quattro, cioé due Violini, Alto Viola, e Violoncello. 
Italy: Bologna, CM, Siena, Biblioteca dell'Accademia Cighiana (Organo). 

Giorgio Buoni 
was born in 1647 in Bologna and died there after 1693. He was active as a priest and teacher a San Petronio, especially as the leader of the Concerto dei Putti, that is, of the students. One of whom was G.B.Bononcini. In 1693 Buoni published three collections of violin music, each containing 12 compositions, some of which were written much earlier; in fact, the Preface to Opu 1 says that the pirces therein are “fatti nell'Anni passati del mio Concerto”.

Op.1, 1693, Divertimenti per camera, a due violini, e violoncello.
Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo; UK: Oxford, BL.

Op.2, 1687, Suonate a due violini, e violoncello, col basso per l'organo. 
Italy: Bologna, CM; UK, Oxford BL; France, Paris BN. 

Mauritio Cazzati
born in 1620 probably in Guastalla (between Mantua and Modena). Following short periods in Mantua (1641), Bozzolo (1647), Ferrara (1650), and Bergamo (1653), he was chapelmaster at San Petronio in Bologna from 1657 to 1673. He died in Mantua in 1677. The founder of Bolognese school. Op. 55 was the first publication of solo violin sonatas from Bologna.
Violoncello played da spalla was a customary instrument in his circle during his life- time.

Giovanni Battista Degli Antonii
was born about 1660 in Bologna. He was elected member of the Accademia Filarmonica in 1684, an sometime later he bacame organist of San Giacomo Maggiore in Bologna. Of his later life nothing is known except that in 1690 he was still active as organist of he same church.

Op.3 1677, Balletti, Correnti, e Sarabande da camera a violino, e  clavicembalo, o violoncello...
Italy: Bologna, Civico Museo.

Op.4, after 1677, Balletti, Correnti Gighe e Sarabande a tré, due Violini e Clavicembalo ò Violoncello... contains 12 suites.
Italy: idem. UK: Oxford, Bodleian library.

Op.5, 1689, Ricercare a Violino, e Violoncello, ò Clavicembalo. Consists of 10 2-voice ricercars.
Italy: idem. UK: idem.

Op.6, 1690, Balletti a Violino, e Violoncello, ò Clavicembalo.
UK: idem.

Giuseppe Jacchini


Giovanni Battista Fontana
native of Brescia, active in Rome, Venice and Padua. Died of the plague in 1630-1. His compositions are preserved in a single publication that appeared in 1641. 
Sonate a 1. 2. 3. per il Violino, o Cornetto, Fagotto, Chitarrone, Violoncino o simile altro Istromento contains 18 sonatas.

Tomaso Albinoni 

Antonio Caldara 

Giovanni Battista Mazzaferrata, fl. 1670, 
was an organist and composer and a pupil of Tarquinio Merula. He was M.D.C. of the cathedral of Vercelli in 1661, and by 1668 he held the same position a the Accademia della Morte in Ferrara. Mazzaferrata composed madrigals, songs, cantatas, psalms; oratorios, and one book of sonatas, Op.5. 
Il primo libro delle sonate a due violini con un bassetto viola se piace. Opera Quinta. Bologna, Giacomo Monti, 1674.
Brussels, KBR
Italy, Bologna, Accademia Filarmonica; Asti, Biblioteca del seminario.

Carlo Antonio Marini 
was born in 1671 in Albino near Bergamo. From 1681 to 1705 he wAs active at Santa Maria Maggiore of Bergamo, first as a boy soprano, later as a violinist. During his time he published seven books with violin music and one with solo cantatas (op. 4); some of which are incompletely preserved. In his Opus 1 he calls himself Marino, but later Marini. 

1682, Op.3, Suonate a tré, et a cinque, doi e tré Violini, Viola, et  Violoncello obligato, col basso per l'Organo.  
France; Paris BN; Switzerlan: Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Kantons-, Stadt-und Universitätsbibliothek. 

1701, Op.6, Sonate a tre & a quattro, doi violini, viola & violoncello, col basso per l'Organo.  
Germany: Wiesentheid, Musiksammlung des Grafen von Schönborn-Wiesentheid. 

1702, Op.7, Sonate a tre, due violini, violoncello obligato, con il basso per l'organo.  
UK: York, Minster Library; Austria: Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Musicksammlung.

Giovanni Maria Ruggieri 
was MDC in Pesaro in 1715. In his Opus 1 he calls himself a dilettante, non professionale. He cam probably from Venice, where all his operas were performed. His publications of violin music, Opus 1 to Opus 4, appeared there as well. 

1697, Op.4, Suonate de chiesa  a due violini, e violoncello, con suo basso continuo per l'organo....    
Austria: Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Musicksammlung.

Giovanni Battista Bassani 
born about 1675 in Padua. In 1677 he became organist of the Accademia della morte in Ferrara, and in 1680 MDC to Duke Alexander Il della Mirandola. After a short stay in Bologna (1682-3), he returned in 1686 to Ferrara, where he was first active as MDC of the Accademia and in 1689 also as organist and MDC of the cathedral. In 1712 he became MDC of the Basilica Maria in Bergamo, where he died in 1716. In addition to numerous operas, oratorios, and other vical comositions, he wrote two collections of violin music.

Op.5, 1683, Sinfonie a due, e tre Instromenti, con il Basso Continuo per l'Organo. 1-6 marked Violoncello a beneplacito (se piace in Amsterdam), 7-12 Violoncello obligato. 
Italy, Bologna, Civico Museo,
UK, Oxford, Bodleian Library.


Violoncello suites, arias, Brandenburg concertos N°4,  3, 5 & 6.
Cello suites, ca.1720, autographs lost; 6th Suite à cinq cordes.
Cantata N°6, 1725, “Bleib bei uns, denn es will Aben werden”, Violoncello piccolo.
Cantata N°41, 1725, “Jesu nunsei gepreiset”, Violoncello piccolo.
Cantata N°49, 1726, “Ach geh' und suche mit Verlangen”, Violoncello piccolo.

J.S.Bach arias:  
Cantata N°68, 1725, “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt”, Violoncello piccolo.
Cantata N°85, 1725, “Ich bin ein guter Hirt”, Violoncello piccolo.
Cantata N°115, 1724, “Mach dich, mein Geist, bereit”, Violoncello piccolo.
Cantata N°175, 1724-5, “Er rufet seined Schafen mit namen”, Violoncello piccolo solo; Cantata N°183, 1725, “Sie werden euch in en Bann tun”, Violoncello piccolo.


Baroque cello repertoire
Viol, violin and other instruments, vocal music - arrangements and re-orchestration
Romantic and Contemporary 
Jazz, fusion... your original compositions 


Discography and recordings

Sigiswald Kuijken
Ryo Terakado
Dmitry Badiarov
Sergey Malov (video)
La Petite Bande
Bach Collegium Japan
Croatian Baroque

Practical experimentation  

playing techniques
using the belt
bow and bow-grip
shifting techniques
specifics of instrument response
position of the instrument
left hand, right hand
stretching 1st and 2nd finger, rather than the 3rd and 4th.
playing in small and large halls, solo and with large group

Music samples performed 

Domenico Gabrieli for two celli
J.S.Bach, cello and violin music 


©Dmitry Badiarov, The Hague, 08.10.2012

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow those violins look great. Good violin pads can be hard to come by I live in salt lake city ut and I'll have to look into getting me one of those.