Modern cellos use metal strings that require enough tension to tune instruments to today’s concert pitch of 440. This is very different from the smaller Baroque cello that uses gut strings and is tuned somewhere around 415. The Baroque cello’s lower tension allows for a more relaxed, nuanced sound. Also, the instrument is played without an endpin and rests easily in the diamond shape of the player's legs, who widens the knees and narrows the ankles. This original resting placement of the cello on the legs promotes a lighter touch of the instrument and allows for more freedom in the upper body. Historically, for propriety’s sake ladies played the Baroque cello seated sidesaddle.
Guest artist Lisa Terry will play the Courante and Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite in C major in “Fiesta Odalan”. Photo: William Wegman