Artistic Vision

The Amit Peled Peabody Cello Gang: Closing the Circle — by Amit Peled

Originally posted on Violinist.com. As a student, I was fortunate enough to experience the magic of performing music on stage with my great mentors Bernard Greenhouse, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Laurence Lesser, as well as see how each of them balanced their performing and teaching careers. The difference between listening to them explain how to create a phrase and actually forming that phrase with them on stage was huge and significant. Performing with my teachers was a vastly more effective lesson than a one-on-one in a studio, teaching me “on-the-spot” artistic decision-making, amending each performance to fit the energy of the hall. Ever since those transformative and magical moments, I knew that I would become a teacher and pass on the tradition of sharing music with my own students on stage. [...]

What CelloBello Means to Me — by Paul Katz

Dear CelloFriends, Our year-end fund drive is nearly over. And the first thing I want to say is: Thank you for your support!  Your generosity during this season of giving helps tremendously as we work to build and enrich the global cello community and offer the highest level of online musical instruction and advice from renowned cellists and teachers. I’m overwhelmed by the support the CelloBello community has shown over the past few weeks. If you’re among those who has already given this year—a deep and sincere thank you from all of us on our little team. If you’ve already given, you understand why your support matters. Today I want to talk to you about what underlies all the other messages we’ve sent, and what’s most important to me, personally: [...]

By | 2018-02-15T05:55:36+00:00 December 29th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Technology|

An Amateur Cellist’s Case for CelloBello — by Jenn Dungan

Hey, CelloBello fans. My name is Jenn Dungan. I’m a pretty seriously geeky adult amateur cellist, and a supporter of CelloBello. I want to talk to you a little bit about why I find this site so valuable, and offer a few reasons I hope you’ll join me in supporting CelloBello’s mission. I took up the cello several years ago and will, of course, be learning it for the rest of my life. I’m fortunate to take weekly lessons from an excellent teacher; I’ve also had opportunities to learn from other gifted instructors through master classes and camps. Given how complex this skill is, and how different every teacher’s approach is, I believe all cellists can benefit from receiving instruction from a variety of master players. We live in an [...]

By | 2018-02-15T05:55:53+00:00 December 25th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Teaching, Technology|Tags: , , , , |

Why CelloBello Needs You Today — by Robert Battey

As a conservatory student back during the 1970’s, I devoured everything related to the cello, but always came to frustrating dead ends in my research.  If you weren’t at a particular concert, you had missed it forever.  If an out-of-print record or piece of music wasn’t in your school library, you were out of luck.  If you couldn’t attend a masterclass, all you had were the varied memories of others.  If you heard an exciting, brand-new piece on the radio and wanted to see the music, you could spend months trying to track it or the composer down.  You maybe heard of some really hot talent at another school, but unless you traveled there and somehow heard him/her play, it was all just rumor.  Your only peers were those in [...]

By | 2018-01-08T00:55:17+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Categories: Artistic Vision, Technology|

The Forgotten Live Video Recording: Du Pré & the Dvořák Cello Concerto, 1968 — by Tony Woodcock

The most wonderful video performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto by Jacqueline Du Pré and Daniel Barenboim was added to YouTube just a few weeks ago. In this CelloBello exclusive blog is a moving, personal description by a young London musician, Tony Woodcock, who was 17 years old at the time. Below he recounts the unexpected political backdrop for this historic concert, which was hastily arranged in response to the 1968 Russian invasion of Dvořák’s home country of Czechoslovakia. Tony Woodcock, by the way, grew up to eventually become the President of the New England Conservatory of Music, and was a primary supporter of the founding of CelloBello.com. My heartfelt thanks to him for his role in making our website possible, and for illuminating us on an extraordinary history that [...]

Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Forgotten Masterpiece — by Brinton Averil Smith

With over 200 film scores to his name, it's more likely that you've heard Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's music than his name. Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born in Florence in 1895 into a family that had been in Italy for generations, since the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. His career as a composer began with conservatory study in Italy, and by the 1920s he was beginning to garner attention in greater Europe. In 1932 Mario began a lifelong friendship with the guitarist Andres Segovia, who inspired perhaps his most famous work, the Guitar Concerto No.1, and became an important champion of his music. It is largely due to Segovia's influence that Mario wrote over 100 works for the guitar, which today form an important and frequently heard part of that instrument's repertoire. [...]

The Bach Suites as You Have Never Seen Them Before — by Antonio Lysy

Hundreds of scholars have studied and written about the Bach Suites, yet we can only speculate about how or when they were first performed. The original manuscript is lost, leaving us with various facsimiles to decipher, and there are no written accounts by Bach’s contemporaries. The one advantage of this predicament is the wide spectrum of artistic decisions on which a cellist is compelled to ruminate, in order to make them “their own.” Apparently the suites were not intended to be performed as a cycle, although this approach has become increasingly common in the last couple of decades. My current perspective, developed over many years of performing and teaching the suites, is that each of the six tells a distinctive story. And, like a series of books or films, each [...]

If it Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Break It? Thoughts About Playing Bach Today…. — by Inbal Segev

When I decided to record the Bach cello suites a couple of years ago, I started not by playing but by reading. I read Bach's biography, and then a few Baroque practice books (extremely dense and quite boring) and then I became inspired to change almost everything about the way I played Bach. I eventually came back to doing things the way that had been a part of my DNA after years of playing Bach the "modern" way (but improved), and I'd like to share some of my experiments with you. I never played from a manuscript copy before. The notes are difficult to decipher and so the work is slow and cumbersome. Worth it! Playing from copies of the surviving manuscripts by Anna Magdalena and Kellner taught me so much. There is really no way of [...]

B A C H S U I T E S — by Colin Carr

Bowings, beats, bass, bowings and fingerings fit together, bow distribution, bible? Articulation and Anna Magdelena Chords, cadences. common themes within each suite, comfort? Harmony, harmonics? Slurs, scales, sequences, spontaneity Understanding direction of phrases. Up bow or down bow? Intonation Tension from dissonance. tempo choices, trills Extremes? Surprise I was asked to choose a Bach related topic for this live Facebook chat, but I couldn’t think of just one. Instead I thought I would try to cover as many issues as I can think of, using this (gimmicky) chart as a starting point. I will talk about each of the sub-headings, and in doing so hope to answer a lot of questions before they have been asked! I have been playing and teaching the suites all my life. There have been [...]

Conversation with Mstislav Rostropovich

Reprinted from Internet Cello Society 11-29-2016 By Tim Janof 4-6-2006 TJ: When you burst onto the music scene, people were struck by your white hot performances. Your sound was strong and your vibrato was wide, which was a striking contrast to your predecessors. Where did your unique concept of sound come from? MR: Let me give you a little background first. My family lived in two-room apartment in Baku until I was seven years old. My mother was a pianist and my father was a cellist who had worked with Casals. There is a picture of me sleeping inside my father's cello case when I was four months old. My first instrument was the piano, which was my first love. To this day, when I am learning a new cello [...]