In Focus: From Strad to Slava
The ’Duport’ cello is a fine example of Stradivari’s ‘Form B Piccola’. Samuel Zygmuntowicz examines Rostropovich’s own instrument, in this article from October 1997
AIthough Stradivari was not the first maker to design and build moderate-sized cellos suitable for solo playing, once he began building his ‘Forma B Piccola’ around 1707, he produced a group of the finest cellos ever made. These instruments which include the ‘Duport’ of 1711, now played by Rostropovich, the ‘Davidov’ of 1712 (ex-du Pre now Yo-Yo Ma) and the ‘Batta’ of 1714 (Piatigorsky), vary slightly in detail but they all retain the basic design and dimensions.