There weren't any cellists at Summer Strings last night, so I played the cello parts (on the viola), which was a new and interesting treat. We were playing this arrangement of the Fiocco Allegro, where the melodic material is divided between the first and second violins, and the lower voices spend a lot of time as continuo players.
The violists, being new to continuo playing, needed a bit of guidance. I suggested a way for them to use their bows that would not sound too plodding, and still be rhythmic and directional--a way that would make it possible to support as well as hear the interplay between the upper voices.
I told them it was like cake. The fiddles are the frosting, and the rest of us are like the cake. The frosting is pretty, and it is what you see and pay attention to, but it's still called cake.