Best practice for notating string solos in an orchestral work (div. /new instrument)


I have a piece for symphonic orchestra that contains a lot of divisi, as well as a few short solos for violin, cello and contrabass. At present, I’ve notated them as “solo” within the divisi option, and I get this, which is passable, but not great:

Later on:

Two issues arise:

First, I’d like a subbracket for the solo/soli and another for gli altri, but modifying the brackets is a can of worms and I’ve tried to avoid it so far (I even use a renamed fiddle for the 2nd violins in order to avoid having to manually delete the bracket joining violins I and II).

Second, since I’ve added two “group” labels for the celli in the divisi dialog, I’d like to do the same vith the violin solo, but the group labels need at least 2 subordinate divisions, while the solo violin has one.

I know the divisi dialog is how it one’s supposed to notate the solos, but I was wondering if defining in the setup tab a new instrument labelled “solo violin” and so forth could work better. Any workarounds or things I’m missing?

Trimmed project (measures 91-107):
qwfdqwfqf.dorico (2.0 MB)


In the divisi dialog, it’s possible to first create a divisi (a 2), then delete the second group. The divisi will remain, including the option to give the (now) single group/soloist a divisi label. I use it sometimes if the divisi can be easily notated as a few double stops, without the need to hassle with condensing.
Unless the solo violin is a real (violin concerto) soloist, I wouldn’t create a separate player.
I prefer 1 bracket for a whole group, whatever its division.
But I totally agree that Violin I and II should be treated as separate groups, and that Dorico should have the option to not bracket them together (without the ‘fiddle’ trick). This has been requested before.

(OT) Cellist’s advice: never use alto clefs in a cello or double bass part.
And a bit more divisi-related: avoid the ‘1’ and ‘2’ divisi group labels, they look like (nonsensical) fingerings. Frankly, I don’t understand their being the default at all even in a simple div. a 2. Is this a Hollywood thing? I’m not aware Gould recommends it either.