In this rarely-quoted excerpt, Johann Philipp Eisel obviously paraphrases Johann Mattheson’s definition of the violoncello in Das Neu-eröffnete Orchestre. It is yet another description that does not conform precisely to our early twenty-first century historical construct of the “baroque” cello. In the past not much attention has been given to such descriptions, considered to be too deviant from the general understanding of what a cello was supposed to be: five or six strings were not considered to represent the “normal” cello, and the viola da spalla was considered a different instrument altogether. However, recent research has finally taken such descriptions seriously, particularly in light of what iconographic sources are offering. In the past two decades, scholars have begun not only to entirely revise our understanding of what the violone might have been, but also to re-evaluate our notions about violoncello in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries...
"In Search of the Eighteenth-Century “Violoncello”: Antonio Vandini and the Concertos for Viola by Tartini,"
Performance Practice Review:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/ppr/vol13/iss1/7