baroque bow & BOW-HOLDS

Baroque cello - Bass violin bow

"CLIP-IN" FROG
.

Before and after cliping the nut in.

The classical bows with a screw system appeared at the en of the XVIIIth century, after the baroque period.
Baroque Cello Bow tip

Bow made by Hans Reiners, Berlin

Baroque cello Bow - clip in frog

.


.

BOW HOLDS

We observe two bow holds until the beginning of the 19th century.

UNDERHAND

UNDERHAND BOW-HOLD - cello
the hand is under the bow

OVERHAND

OVERHAND BOW-HOLD - cello
the hand is over the bow.

?

important cellists, unknown bowholds

..

I. UNDERHAND BOW HOLD


Observation of paintings, documents & performers

Scotland

Niel gow and his brother (Donald Gow, cellist), by David Allan, circa 1780

NETHERLAND

Village musicians, by Adrian Jansz van Ostade, circa 1645

england

Portrait of a gentleman seated playing cello, by Charles Philips, circa 1720

italy

Concerto in casa Lazzari by Girolamo Martinelli

closer view.

Recommended read:
"Iconographic study of the violoncello and the way it was played up to the year 1800"

"Certain Aspects of baroque music for the violoncello as finally exemplified in the suites for
unaccompanied violoncello by J.S. Bach. (thesis, doctorate, University of South Australia 1983-4)"
by Mark Meryn SMITH

Read: "The cello bow held the viol way, once common, but almost forgotten" by Mark Smith  Read - Page 47

description

Allgemeine Musikzeitung, 1799, Leipzig

.

Translation:


The thumb was laying on the frog of the bow, the second finger was on the stick, and the other 3 fingers were on the bow hair. By the pressure of those fingers, especially the little finger, he increased the tension of his bow .

Description of J.C. Schetky's bow hold

.

CELLISTS WHO PLAYED WITH UNDERHAND BOW HOLD

.


:






:

.



.

FERDINANDO iii DE mEDICIS

Ferdinando III, Patron of the arts
1663-1713

His Villa in Patrolino was a center of music where he held operatic production in a theater built for that purpose. Close to D. Scarlatti, he produced five of his operas. Ferdinando was also in contact with J.F. Handel. Vivaldi dedicated him L'Estro Armonico, a collection of twelve concertos for one, two and four violins.


.

.

.

.

.

Antonio Vandini

Antonio Vandini, his career:

- Colleague of A. Vivaldi  in 1720
- First violoncellist of the Church of St. Antonio in Padua, concertmaster: Tartini (1721)
- 1723-26 : Accompanist of Tartini in Prague
- 1726-70: Back to his position of principal cello of the Church of St. Antonio in Padua.
- 1776-78: Back to Bologna his birth town where he taught until his death.
Composition for the violoncello:

  • Concerto in D major
  • Six Sonatas

Charles Burney, Excerpt from: “Music men, and manners in France and Italy 1770”

GERMANY

Markus Grauel

Highlights of his career:

German cellist Markus Graüel was born in Eisenach in the first half of the eighteenth century.

He joined the chamber musicians of the Prussian Court in Berlin from 1742 until 1798.

"M. Grauel, a violoncello performer in the king’s band, played a concerto; it was but ordinary music; however, it was well executed, though in the old manner, with the hand under the bow"
Excerpt from "An eighteenth century musical tour in central Europe and the Netherland."(1773)
Charles Burney

Johann Christoph Shetcky


In 1799 the "Allgemeine Musikzeitung" published a long biographical print where his bow hold is described, explaining that his thumb was laying on the frog of the bow, the index finger was alone on the stick, and the other fingers were on the bow hair.

Highlights of his career:

Schetky spent six months in Hamburg in 1761 where he got offered a Stradivarius.

  • 1761-68 Cellist of the court orchestra of Darmstadt
  • 1768-69 Played concerts in Hamburg

He also appeared in concerts in London where he got the patronage of J.C. Bach.

.

overhand bow hold


Observation of paintings, documents & performers

England

Excerpt from: A cellist in Handel's orchestra - Philip Mercier - c.1740-1- (Cellist: J. Hebden )

France

Excerpt from Musique de chambre, by Carmontelle - c.1765-70

( Cellist: J.P. Duport) 

Italy

Portrait of Giovanni Battista Cirri by Giacomo Ceruti

Michel Corette's description
1741- end of the baroque period

Methode théorique et pratique pour apprendre en peu de temps de violoncelle dans sa perfection. - 1741

translation is coming...

"On the manner of holding the bow"
by jl DUPORT

JEAN-LOUIS DUPORT

FAMOUS CELLIST WHO PLAYED WITH OVER-HAND BOW HOLD

FRANCESCO ALBOREA


"Franciscello", a travelling virtuoso
Born in 1691 in Napoli, Italy.




.



.:

His playing and sound had an important impact in the development and the popularity of the violoncello. After a performance with Scarlatti, Geminiani related that only an angel that had descended and assumed his shape could have played like that. Quantz describes him as «the incomparable violoncellist Fransciscello."


Employed at the Imperial chapel of Vienna from 1726 until his death, he received by far the highest salary paid to any violoncellist at the chapel (1260 fl. while the standard salary was between 150 and 500 fl.)  His fame also inspired viola da gamba players to explore the new instrument. The French gamba player Martin Berteau was one of them. After hearing a concert of Alborea, he decided to dedicate the rest of his career to the violoncello.


.

.

Boccherini

"Luigi Boccherini playing the violoncello"
Date: circa 1764-1767
Even if this is post baroque, the hand is still placed at the balance point of the bow

.

important cellists - unknown bowhold

GIOVANNI BONONCINI

1670, Modena - 1747, Vienna
Also refered as BUONONCINI

Renowned composer and cellist, Bononcini traveled throughout Europe from his beginnings in Bologna, then to Rome (1691) and Vienna (1698), including stays in Madrid, Berlin (1702-03)*London (1720), Paris (1730).
By 1706, Bononcini was already famous all over Europe.

martin berteau



born in 1691 in Valenciennes, France.

.

Before becoming a cellist, Berteau was a fine bass viol player. Important figure as a performer teacher and composer, "The famous Bertaud", is considered as the founder of the French school of violoncello. He left no written record of his teaching method, but many of his pupils did. Among them: the Brothers Janson, Jean-Pierre Duport, Jean-Baptiste Bréval, François Cupis de Renoussard, Joseph Tillière, Dominique Bideau. Famous for his use of harmonics he composed 6 cello sonatas Sonate Da camera a violoncello Solo col Basso Continuo op.l where he wrote an explanation on how to play harmonics on the cello.

Read: Martin Berteau et le violoncelle en France (FR)





.

This is the only portrait of Berteau, there is no information about his bow-hold.








.

ABOUT THE CHOICE OF BOW-HOLD


We know that both bow-holds were used for cello/bass playing, it was not the case for other bowed instruments.


OVERHAND BOWHOLD

All the instruments held in the Da Spalla and violin position use the overhand bow-hold 

+cellists


UNDERHAND BOW HOLD

All the instruments held in the upright position  use the underhand bow hold 

including cellists

THE CHOICE OF BOW HOLD IS RELATED TO THE WAY THE INSTRUMENT IS HELD IN ORDER TO USE THE NATURAL STRENGTH OF THE ARM THROUGH THE PALM OF THE HAND

.

.

THE CELLISTS USED BOTH BOW HOLDs, but WHICH WAY DID THEY CONDUCT IT?

THE VIOLONCELLO: TWO BOW-HOLDS, TWO WAYS?


Up or down? My research.