Posted by Victor Sazer on May 13, 1999 at 06:26:45:
In Reply to: Cleveland Orch. posted by Bob on May 13, 1999 at 03:38:43:
Using “right” or “wrong” seating might be a bit too rigid terminology. It might be worth inquiring about why some prefer one seating arrangement to another. When the celli are on the outside, they face across stage rather than toward the audience. Some of the sound may get lost this way.
This is particularly noticeable in a string quartet. When the cellist sits on the outside facing the first violinist, the sound does not project as well as when the cello is facing straight out toward the audience, especially to the listeners who are seated on the left side (from the stage view) of the hall. This is often a bone of contention with string quartet violists. Violists would rather sit in the inner position for easier projection. The cello however, since it plays the lower tones (being the base and foundation of the group) and the lower tones are slower to project is best placed in where its f holes can face directly toward the audience.
How would a soloist sound facing across to the side of the stage? Experiment have been done showing that it does make a difference.
The conductor Leopold Stokovsky who was known for the rich sound he drew from the strings, had the celli sitting across the center of the orchestra facing him. “There are many roads to Rome!”
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