John Prescott jokes about classical lookalike

19 March 2014, 10:32

Is is John Prescott? Is it James May? No, it's violinist Sigiswald Kuijken showing off his violoncello da spalla in the London Evening Standard.

Classical music fans have taken to Twitter this morning to alert John Prescott of his unlikely doppelgänger. It appears the former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party bears a striking resemblance to Baroque expert Sigiswald Kuijken, who believes cello pieces by Bach, Vivaldi and Corelli were actually written for a more unusual instrument - the violoncello da spalla.


Violin-maker Dmitry Badiarov made a copy of the instrument based on three surviving examples: two instruments by J. Ch. Hoffmann, a contemporary of Bach, and one by Aegidius Snoek. Audiences can expect to hear it at a concert in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall - the first time the instrument has been played in the city for 200 years.

Speaking in The Strad, Badiarov said: "What Sigiswald Kuijken and I have reconstructed is the instrument that in the late 17th century and the first half of the 18th century was commonly called a violoncello, and which apparently vanished in the second half of the 18th century. Now it has returned, and is drawing the attention of music lovers who are thirsty for adventure."

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