Перейти к основному содержанию

Theremin Cello

Theremin Cello, an electrical cello (whose other name is Fingerboard Theremin) he invented in the early thirties. Two Theremincellos were meant to be used in the original version of Ecuatorial by Edgard Varese, created in 1934. In that work they were later replaced by two ondes Martenot. It should be remarked that the orchestra director Leopold Stokowski asked Maurice Martenot and Leon Theremin to build bass electric instruments in order to include them in his orchestra in Philadelphia.

Leon Theremin plays his "cello" (around 1930)

A contact tape (a flexible plastic film) placed all along the key allows to play about five octaves (as if played on one-string cello). You must bear in mind that Leon Theremin was a cellist. So was Maurice Martenot. A wooden stick, fixed in the instrument body (a reminder of the bow), allows to command the intensity of the sound by pressing on it with your right hand. The instrument is connected to a lamp amplifier. Several knobs placed on the instrument body and behind the amplifier guarantee great precision in the command of the tuning and of the sound quality and are also used to adjust the base volume.

Inside the body of the original Theremin cello (around 1930)

It appears that only two known historical samples are kept in collections today. In 2004, an American, Floyd Engels, could get hold of a Theremin-cello and make an identical copy of it (except for the shape of the instrument body). Ten instruments were made. Thomas Bloch owns number 7. Its former owner was the american rare instrument collector Brian Lowe (Seattle, WA).

Theremin-cello from Thomas Bloch (replica n° 7 made by Floyd Engels in 2004)

The Theremin Electro Ensemble, переименованный затем в The Electrio, 1932 г. На Терменвоксе играет ассистент Льва Термена Julius Goldberg, на Theremin Cello - Леонид Болотин, и на Theremin Keyboard - пианист Глеб Йелин. В 1932 году ансамбль выступал на радио Columbia Network с еженедельной передачей:


Theremin Electrical Symphony Orchestra на концерте в Карнеги-холл в 1932 г. Ансамбль из 10 музыкантов, "вооруженный" различными инструментами Термена, настроенными на исполнение партий различных инструментов оркестра, исполнил "обычный" классический репертуар, включая, например, Фантазию соль мажор И.-С. Баха и Ave Maria Баха-Гуно: