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Topic: Cellos not full range??

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  1. #1

    Cellos not full range??

    I thought I\'d post this to see what others think:

    In KEYBOARD magazine this month, in the article on the creation of the EWQLSO, Nick Phoenix states that
    \"..Cellists in American orchestras tend to play in the upper register really well. Consequently, we have an extra octave on the cellos that other libraries don\'t have..\"

    This sounds like a load of b.s. to me, and I once knew a czech cellist who played fabulously, covering a range on the cello that would put NP\'s statement to shame.

    I know too, that in the 50\'s and 60\'s it was not uncommon in t.v. show music, to just score for cellos alone and have them play up into the higher ranges to save money on a string section. They could get a larger section sound for the same money by exploiting the wide range of the cellos. Some modern classical composers even wrote entire works for just cellos.

    I like to write for the cellos in their high, somewhat strained range to impart a tension or emotion to a part, so it would be nice to have true multisamples in the high range instead of stretched samples like the old AO.

    But what about it? DO American cellists play higher, and how does this compare to the cello ranges in GPO? They sound fine to me, but are we, as Nick Phoenix says, missing an octave off the top of the cellos? Gary? Anyone?

  2. #2

    Re: Cellos not full range??

    Originally posted by nexus:
    But what about it? DO American cellists play higher, and how does this compare to the cello ranges in GPO? They sound fine to me, but are we, as Nick Phoenix says, missing an octave off the top of the cellos? Gary? Anyone?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">On its face the comment sounds like garbage. I just did an arrangement of Barber\'s Adagio for Strings, and if you know the piece, you know that it goes fairly high in almost all ranges and GPO pulls it off. I\'d be interested in knowing exactly how high the EastWest cellos go and compare them to GOS and GPO.

    The most prudent thing is to take the subjective and make it objective with statements of fact. Given that Nick\'s statement cannot be proved on its merits alone gives me reason to doubt that it was little more than a simple shill.

    So, let\'s whip it out - how high does EastWest go?

  3. #3

    Re: Cellos not full range??

    Originally posted by chocothrax:
    I\'m surprised I never heard about this before. So how high does GPO go? I just checked my VSL celli and the highest note they can go is E5(actually there is a patch which can go up to C6).I don\'t know what EWQLSO has it would be cool to know.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">The reason why you\'ve not heard about it until now is that it\'s a red herring. [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    That range of GPO looks to be either F5 and G5, depending on the instrument - but I haven\'t gone through all of them. However, this is not a fair comparison - since GPO is a $250 library. However, I have read that Garritan plans to update the range on some instruments - but I wouldn\'t think that cello would be on the top of their list. I\'d prefer that they start with the bass trombone, as I\'m a former professional bass slide player. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] (Bach 42B with 6 1/2 AL mouthpiece, to be exact [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] )

    Anyway, a more fair yardstick would be to check against GOS, as it is a full-blown string library - the one that set the standard and still stands up today...

    I\'m curious about what repetoire that the extra octave gives the composer/arranger, and how that justifies the cost of the library. Even if they did have an extra octave, I wouldn\'t see the use of it on musical or technical merit.

    Sounds like a hard sell - maybe a slap at VSL - who knows? When I run out of cello range for the work I do I\'ll let you know. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Re: Cellos not full range??

    Hi Guys,
    Normally I stay out of here, because I would like to keep what\'s left of my hair. Alot of that Keyboard article was paraphrased, condensed and not exactly what we said. The cellos in EWQLSO are 4 octaves. C2-C6.

  5. #5

    Re: Cellos not full range??

    Good answers all. Even though I started this by discussing cellos here (and the Barber Adagio is a good example, so is Roy Harris\'s Symphony in One Movement), I too would like the bass trombone range extended. This instrument always gets slighted IMO, and while I\'m at it, how \'bout a contrabass trombone? This instrument is rare in collections, to my knowledge.

    So are there any other instruments in GPO (or EWQLSO or VSL for that matter) whose range is in question.

    I don\'t think the subject of instrument range is a trivial one, especially after reading forums like this one. A lot of musicians seem to ask this question (though seldom of cellos!).

  6. #6

    Re: Cellos not full range??

    Nick,

    \"Normally I stay out of here, because I would like to keep what\'s left of my hair.\"

    I\'d lend you some of mine but all three strands are working overtime!

    Tom

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