Visintini Gaidano Violoncello da Spalla Makers

Italian luthiers specialized in violoncello da spalla,

following harmonic proportions design

The Italian-made Violoncello da spalla

Alessandro Visintini e Daniela Gaidano violoncello da spalla makers
We are Daniela Gaidano and Alessandro Visintini, luthiers in Meltina, Alto Adige, Italia

Italian lutherie. What does it mean?

Violoncello da spalla Visintini Gaidano Custom
Daniela Gaidano violoncello da spalla
  • Yours is not a whim but a prudent investment: Italian instruments maintain and increase their value over time.
  • We live in South Tyrol, so we have easy access to the finest woods in the world, aged following traditional procedure (time, not heating!). Thanks to the mountain air, we don't use lamps to dry the varnish. We respect the timing of everything. Your instrument will have no surprises or forced elements and will maintain the character and elegance characteristic of the environment of luthiers, sculptors, and painters where we grew up."
  • Daniela spent 15 years as a gut strings maker for early music, gaining historical and technical knowledge that should not be lacking for those who build instruments around a string.
  • We are both professional musicians: when you talk to us about sound, repertoire, comfort, and instrument response, about the physical and emotional stress of tours, we know what you're talking about.
  • We love historical construction techniques: we prefer the Cremonese internal form, but we don't hesitate when the character of the model requires a different technique.
  • We don't use power tools. We love to do everything by hand.
  • We only use natural varnishes and pigments without synthetic dyes. We appreciate the richness and depth of natural pigments that enhance the personality of the wood, making each instrument always unique.
  • Have you ever played in an ancient Greek or Roman theater? You play effortlessly, there's no need to force the sound, it doesn't even feel like you're outdoors, and everything is heard clearly. It's beautiful, almost magical. Well, it's not magic but rather the result of construction based on harmonic proportions. In our instruments, music is at the foundation of everything. We can even build an instrument based on YOUR intonated intervals, your temperament! What could be more personal?

They say about us...

Daniela gaidano the strad violoncello da spalla
the strad workspace luthiers visintini Gaidano
the strad workspace luthiers visintini Gaidano

Why the Violoncello da Spalla?

  • Tuned CGDAE, the small 5-string cello allows playing violin melodic material with the same open strings but an octave lower, without sacrificing deep and powerful basses for accompaniment. It's an extremely versatile instrument, as Bach and Hoffmann well recognized. You can double also the tenors of a choir reading in violin clef as if you had the violin in your hands and automatically playing at the right octave.
  • Violinists and violists will find it easy and immediate and will be able to play Bach's Cello Suites at the original octave as well as all the repertoire for baroque cello.
  • Thanks to its tuning which includes both violin and cello, it can be extremely useful for teaching both violinists and cellists and for performing in a string group or orchestra. It breaks down barriers!
  • The resonance of the basses, resting directly against the chest, is relaxing and almost therapeutic: you'll feel at the heart of the musical miracle.
  • You can play basso continuo on it and thus accompany your students in lessons or allow them to experience leading phrases by learning to play a good continuo.
  • You will open up new and exciting career opportunities thanks to the great curiosity that will arise around your instrument
  • You'll be like a true pioneer, paving a new path for the modern era but with a significant and documented history behind you.
  • You'll have the opportunity to greatly expand your repertoire, being able to explore much of the cello repertoire with violinistic technique, both as a soloist and in chamber music.
  • You'll have FUN performing all parts of the quartet repertoire.

Who plays our Violoncello da Spalla?

Alberto Vitolo, violinista, Roma

Alberto Vitolo violoncello da spalla Alessandro Visintini
Alberto Vitolo violoncello da spalla Alessandro Visintini

Ogni giorno che passa mi rendo conto al di là di tante parole...che il violoncello da spalla é uno strumento completamente diverso da tutti. E' un mondo che raccoglie in sé tecniche e cultura del suono diverse, una  contaminazione molto interessante.

testimonial visintini Gaidano violoncello da spalla makers
Wenhan Jiang Violoncello da spalla Daniela Gaidano

Wenhan Jiang - Principal Viola BBC Ulster Orchestra

Price list 2024

Suonare il violoncello da spalla con gioia visintini gaidano
Violoncello da Spalla

€ 21.000

(plus taxes if applicable)

Choose your model and your preferred string setup 

among various modern or gut string options from different string makers.

superbonus violoncello da spalla visintini gaidano

Violoncello da Spalla A-case

The custom-made case, super lightweight and super compact in carbon fiber.

The only case for Violoncello da Spalla that fits in the overhead compartment of airplanes!!!

Valued at €1300!

Follow us on...

Our English newsletter on Substack

blog violoncello da spalla visintini gaidano english

Il nostro Blog in italiano

blog violoncello da spalla visintini gaidano

Cool Gadgets for violoncello da spalla

da spalla pride Daniela Gaidano

But did it really exist?

Comparison between ours and the small cello by J. Ch. Hoffmann, Leipzig 1725 at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig.

Violoncello da spalla visintini e hoffmann
Visintini Gaidano Shelley Takakura a Lipsia Grassi museum
Alessandro visintini e Veith Heller museo grassi lipsia

Measurements of the small cello by Jh. Ch. Hoffmann, Leipzig, at the MIM in Brussels. 

violoncello piccolo cinque corde Hoffmann Bruxelles visintini gaidano
Alessandro Visintini violoncello piccolo Hoffmann Lipsia museo Bruxelles
violoncello piccolo cinque corde Hoffmann Lipsia museo Bruxelles
Daniela Gaidano violoncello piccolo Hoffmann Bruxelles

Measurements of the small cello by Jh. Wagner, Borstendorf 1750 at the St. Anna Museum in Lübeck. 

Violoncello da spalla Wagner Borstendorf con daniela gaidano
Rilievi violoncello da spalla Wagner Borstendorf a lubecca

Doing research in Markneukirchen Museum

Alessandro Visintini Museum Markneukirchen research
Daniela Gaidano Markneukirchen Museum

Why us?

Others know

what's best for you.

We don't!

Others have already decided what's best for you before even knowing you.

We listen to you to bring to life the instrument you're already in love with.

We have a mission: to build your instrument for you, the one you're already in love with. This entails from us a completely open-minded approach towards you, realized in our vocation to listen to your needs, undoubtedly musical, but also aesthetic, stemming from your historical background and artistic exploration, and what you envision for your future with the instrument.

We'd like to involve you in our enthusiasm for the violoncello da spalla, its various incarnations over time, and its potential uses based on your needs and artistic interests. This fascinating instrument has seen many luthiers encountering and crafting it in various forms over time, so the initial choice of model is important. We can share with you tons of historical and iconographic information about surviving original instruments, as well as key construction principles, so you can consciously choose what suits you best.

We understand that today, the violoncello da spalla can raise many doubts and fears regarding the opportunity of its use, the authenticity of its existence, and the playable repertoire. We can provide you with much information that will make you feel comfortable, even among the most skeptical.

We are also prepared for all related to accessories such as bows, strings, cases, and delivery methods. These issues, which can objectively hinder much enthusiasm if not adequately addressed, become easily approachable with us, both in terms of sourcing and costs, and timelines, always allowing you to choose from different options.

All of this within a framework of maximum transparency, with regular updates on the construction progress through a dedicated social channel, photographs, and possibly online meetings.

The possibility of meeting in person for the delivery of the finished instrument (except in situations beyond mutual will) in order to have your direct feedback and potentially provide you with final instructions on the finished instrument is also part of our vision.

All of this to truly create YOUR instrument, with our declared goal of building you an instrument that not only suits you personally but also allows you to make music with pleasure.

  • We only make four instruments a year, and we dedicate five months to each instrument: we take all the time necessary to get to know you, to design and build an instrument according to your desires.
  • We will dedicate to you an exclusive communication channel (on Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, or whichever platform is most accessible to you) through which we can discuss any doubts or curiosities you may have, share our research with you, and above all, keep you updated step by step on the construction of your instrument with photos and videos. Being in close contact helps us work better for you: you can be like that client who wrote us 97 emails in two months, asking about historical background, technique, repertoire, materials used, positioning... It was a pleasure for us to get to know him and work together.
  • Accessories: we provide you with the accessories you need, and if you wish, we can help you choose them. You will receive an instrument ready for you to dive into your musical projects, without having to spend months searching for a case, spare strings, etc. We provide you with a shoulder rest, strings, case, and even a bow if you desire. 
  • Delivery: you can come to pick up your instrument and enjoy a dinner with us at a typical restaurant, or we can discuss the best shipping option together. But, for the safety of your instrument and the pleasure of meeting you, we could also arrange to personally deliver it to your home. This solution might be more cost-effective than shipping, alleviate worries, and give us the pleasure of meeting in person. So, let's talk about it!

Da Spalla...

Esther Visser
prova violoncello da spalla visintini gaidano
Gerhard Landwehr violoncello da spalla visintini gaidano
marco mantovani violoncello da spalla
glauco bertagnin violoncello da spalla
Rossella croce violoncello da spalla
jun keller

... and not!

Gerhard Landwehr violoncello da spalla visintini gaidano

What did you fall in love with?

Italian instrument built for you, not beforehand.

Constant updates: you will see your instrument being born and growing day by day.

All our research at your disposal.

Consultation on history, technique, posture, repertoire, strings.

Accessories: everything you need with transparent costs as if you were buying them yourself but without wasting time searching.

Thanks to close communication, we offer you a personalized service from design to delivery.

But is there repertoire?

We regularly publish on Substack articles with suggestions on repertoire

Sigiswald Kuijken tries out Violoncello da Spalla No. 1 just after it's been finished in the white. Unofficial video.

J. S. Bach: Sonata in C major for flute and basso continuo.

W. A. Mozart: "Queen of the Night" aria from The Magic Flute.

F. Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata - Sergey Malov

Violoncello da Spalla by Dmitry Badiarov

Write us to discuss about your possible violoncello da spalla

by clicking below.