BIO / CELLO
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The “Château Pape Clément” Gagliano entrusted to brilliant cellist Camille Thomas.

‘If I purchased a Gagliano cello in 2015, it was not to keep it locked away and hidden out of sight, but to share its nobility and unique sound, that is both lyrical and full-bodied. I have chosen Camille Thomas, regarded as one of the most brilliant cellists of her generation, to fulfil a mission that is very dear to me’, Bernard Magrez explains.

‘The name Gagliano is a legendary one, that of one of the most famous instrument makers of all time. For a cellist, to play one of his cellos means to play one of the most prestigious instruments ever made. Ferdinando Gagliano wished that those who bought one of his cellos would choose a name for it.

Every day, I cannot help making fortunate comparisons between this cello and my vines – and not only because I named it after one of my Graves grands crus classés: the “Château Pape Clément”.

‘Just like wine and the grape varieties that compose it, the anatomy of the cello is a miracle of balance, a subtle alchemy between the voluptuousness of its curves, the pure sound of its strings and the firmness of its structure. By the way, the cello scroll – the final touch added by the instrument maker as a sign of absolute refinement – bears more than a passing resemblance to the spiral pattern of the vine. Just like the sun’s reflections on the grape, the varnish gives the cello its warmth, its depth, its life – the shimmering character that vibrates in man’s heart.

Just like wine, the cello is a meeting point between the real and the metaphysical worlds. One thing you should know is that the soundpost, the piece of wood that transmits the vibrations of the belly, at the bottom of the instrument, is called in french “l’âme”, “the soul”. And it is the position of that “soul” that determines the whole harmony of the sounds produced. Once again, the comparison with wine is tempting. In 1857, Charles Baudelaire wrote the poem L’âme du vin (“the Soul of wine”), in which he breathed words and life into that magical beverage: “One eve in the bottle sang the soul of wine...” – the same way the strings of the cello sing to calm mankind.

‘What about man? The instrument maker is not only the craftsman who shaped the object. He is also the cello’s physician throughout its existence, just as the wine grower is the vine’s doctor. More than its dedicated labourer, he is its eternal servant.’

Bernard Magrez
Owner of four grands crus classés in Bordeaux