Pablo Casals' 1733 Goffriller

“I met Mrs Marta Casals Istomin and the historic 1733 Matteo Goffriller cello of her late husband, Pablo Casals in 2012. The idea of seeing that instrument up close was hard for me to grasp. This cello made the journey with Casals from Spain into world fame. All the major recordings of Casals were created with this instrument, and so many musicians have been shaped listening to that sound.

I was nervous when Marta handed the case to me. Should I open it myself? What if it breaks when I touch it? Moreover, I noticed the strong smell of Casals’s famous pipe emerging from the cello as I settled down to play the first notes. I dove into Dvorák’s Cello Concerto and woke up playing the last notes of Bloch’s Prayer From Jewish Life, hearing Marta’s approving, ‘Now that was something!’

I had to find a way not to disturb the cello’s own voice, and to allow its natural tone to develop. The instrument started suggesting to me different colours and I was amazed by the palette of possibilities. I felt so blessed to have a personal conversation with this cello!”

Vuillaume - 1865

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"Amit Peled's Vuillaume cello is a very beautiful and well preserved example by Nicolas Francois Vuillaume that displays his close study and keen understanding of the original Stradivari of Servais. It certainly is among the most handsome examples of his work that I have seen."

Philip Kass