Nicholas Anderson's Cello

The “Count Marcello” Gofriller


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Copyright ©1999-2005
Nicholas Anderson


Cello soloist Nicholas Anderson plays a magnificent instrument known as the
"Count Marcello", built by the great Italian maker Matteo Gofriller, in Venice in 1697. (Many of the most famous cellists have preferred cellos by this maker, including Pablo Casals, who was very attached to a particular Gofriller cello and played it for most of his long life, as his main concert instrument.) Mr. Anderson acquired this cello from his former teacher Irving Klein, cellist of the internationally renowned Claremont Quartet (see below). Mr. Klein had purchased the cello in Venice from the cellist Aldo Pais, author of a well-known book of technical exercises, published by Ricordi. Prior to being owned by Pais, the cello had always been in the family of the Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739), and was passed down through the generations, the final owner before Pais being the Count Girolamo Marcello of Venice, (after whom it was named).

This instrument is featured (with full color photos) in the book Violin and Lute Makers of Venice, 1640-1760, by Stefano Pio, published in Italy by Venice Research.

This is a picture of the celebrated Claremont Quartet [1953-71], with cellist Irving Klein (a protégé of Feuermann), violinists Marc Gottlieb and Vladimir Weisman, and violist Scott Nickrenz - and a poetic tribute to the quartet by Ruth Slonim.


Sitting before you, I watch
as well as hear
synchronized miracles,
revealed truths
that tell the much and not-at-all
with every rise and fall of bow,
each toss of self
(collective selfhood;
reaper of tones to sow).
The while you play,
deaf Beethoven still hears;
you say his piece for him
these many years beyond the when
he spoke his wound to listening men
in last quartets complex with pain's
yet serene.
As listeners take their station
for an interlude,
and phrasings mean,
taste bends in attitude
toward whom you now befriend by
To reassert a poignant daring
of mind and heart,
frail strings bind random lives
so often worlds apart.

To the Claremont Quartet, with appreciation - RUTH SLONIM


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