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I played it for a few weeks in college while learning how to play all the stringed instruments -- well, more specifically how to be a music teacher who knows enough about it to be able to direct an orchestra and such. I did like cello better than violin or viola (which is the real neglected member of that family, IMO ;) ), but my favorite to play was the double base (a.k.a. bass viol). But I was a trumpet/cornet player and not bad at the French horn (probably more ignored than the cello, on a par with the viola -- which is why I switched back to trumpet ;) ), anything else was pretty much just beginner level.
 

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Well, for viola, it depends on which piece you're playing. French horns are definitely not neglected (in my experience anyways). The french horn in my orchestra gets multiple, feature solos in every concert. The double bass is super, super neglected (they're not even with the rest of the orchestra; they're all the way in the back where nobody hears them).
 

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EvilB said:
Well, for viola, it depends on which piece you're playing. French horns are definitely not neglected (in my experience anyways). The french horn in my orchestra gets multiple, feature solos in every concert. The double bass is super, super neglected (they're not even with the rest of the orchestra; they're all the way in the back where nobody hears them).
The horn players get to do some interesting things from time to time in full orchestras, especially once you get to R. Strauss or Wagner (and then sitting around counting measures of rest), but that is completely offset by the time most horn players have had to suffer through playing the after-beats (i.e. the "pah" in the "Oom-pah") in band music. I hated, hated, hated that! ;)

Not as irritating but often more boring is playing trumpet in an orchestra, where you may not do anything for entire movements -- and then be expected to be awake and alert when it's time to come in with your one or two measures of "ta ta-ta tah" (where "tah" is usually a perfect 4th above "ta"). ;D
 

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Oh, and there is no Yo Yo Ma of the French horn, playing featured solos with major orchestras around the world, doing PBS specials, and so forth. ;)  :p  ;D
 

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PS: I really do quite like the sound of the cello (as I do the the French horn), but I'm not enough of a string expert -- okay, not an expert at all -- to appreciate whether or not Yo Yo Ma is as good as his PR says he is. (E.g., I think Wynton Marsalis is a very fine trumpeter, but not as good as many would have you believe, though he gets bonus points for being very good in multiple genres -- but there are players I'd pick over him just for classical or just for jazz).
 

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I love hearing good a good cello but don't play it myself.  It's not neglected at all.  Besides all the wonderful cello concertos, trios, quartets, sonatas with piano, there are the wonderful Bach suites for solo cello and Strauss's Don Quixote.
 

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I love the sound of a cello; in fact I love all stringed instruments.  This past year I learned that you can make beautiful music with a tuba.  My granddaughter's boyfriend let me listen to recorded songs on the tuba and it was wonderful.  I thought tubas were only capable of making blasts of sound during concerts or parades.
 

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NogDog said:
I did like cello better than violin or viola (which is the real neglected member of that family, IMO ;) ), but my favorite to play was the double base (a.k.a. bass viol).
I really enjoy the cello, but the viola solo in Berlioz's Harold in Italy will get my entire attention every time I hear it.

Mike
 

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In my experience, any instrument can sound wonderful in the right hands.

And can be pretty painful in the wrong ones. ::)
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
In my experience, any instrument can sound wonderful in the right hands.

And can be pretty painful in the wrong ones. ::)
So true!
 

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So, you got me thinking about French horn highlights in symphonic works.

Every horn player's dream (starting at about 7:40 in this clip):


What would you say are the comparable great moments for cellists?
 

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Strauss Don Quixote -- Yo Yo Ma with Philadephia Orchestra (there are other parts to this in YouTube you can hear):

http://youtu.be/PT3gi6Esfo8
 

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EvilB said:
Do you play the cello? Don't you think that it's totally neglected in ensembles and orchestras?
< Cellist. But I play 1st Violin in orchestras, so snag all the fun parts. Cellos sometimes get nice lines; now playing double bass is a thankless gig. ;D
 
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