Several weeks on, I still revel in the memory of my day trying out cellos at Cardiff Violins in January. I’d been playing my presumed French, late nineteenth/early twentieth-century anonymous cello ever since moving up to a full size instrument, and was fond of it for its many associations, but, having long wondered what it might be like to broaden my sound horizon, thought to start a search for a new cello in the year of a significant birthday. There was no hurry to find something, and I was resolved to allow time to explore.
Proximity to family and its good reputation led me in the direction early on of Cardiff Violins. A careful and solicitous consultation by phone before Christmas when I booked my appointment set the tone. A Saturday was set aside for me to try out several instruments in a suitable price bracket, and by lunchtime, I’d played 5. Having Katia on hand to discuss the instruments, their response, and feel, and to hear her play them to me was invaluable. After lunch, I was able to try the John Morrison I’d heard about on the phone weeks earlier, and it was every bit as good as it had been made to sound then. My mind was made up. Having been prepared for a long haul by tales from cellist friends who’d spent months finding something that suited them, I found myself in possession of two new cellos by the end of one day.
The Morrison is a pure delight and surprises me each time I pick it up to play. Working full time in another sphere my only regret is that I don’t have enough time to explore it as fully or as often as I’d like to in these early months, but all being well, I hope to have many more months and years in which to get to know it inside out. With Katia’s excellent guidance, I also purchased a Czardas cello (complete with carbon fibre endpin and gear pegs for maximum portability and convenience), benefiting again from Chris’ set up to maximise its potential, for those outdoor gigs and other occasions when the family silver is best left at home.
The cellos speak for themselves, but the care and attention I did and continue to receive from the staff at Cardiff Violins deserves a special celebration. Having been so well served in finding an instrument I’m happy with, I’m unlikely to want to repeat the process, but would have no hesitation in recommending the team to anyone starting a similar quest. Thank you all!