Belgian violinist Sigiswald Kuijken believes that pieces by Bach, Vivaldi and Corelli were written not for the cello, an instrument modern audiences associate them with, but for the violoncello da spalla.
He says works such as Bach's Brandenburg concertos and cello suites sound of music very different when performed on the spalla which was replaced by the violoncello or cello that we know today.
Kuijken believes the more penetrating sound is what the composer intended and he wants the Queen Elizabeth Hall audience to hear it. Violin-maker Dmitry Badiarov made him a copy based on six surviving examples.
A second spalla concert takes place next Tuesday.