| The Bach Goes On
They say the beat goes on, but so does the Bach. LN, do you know of Steven Isserlis? He is an English cellist who performs around the world. He did a masterclass at the NY Cello Society this week. He is a Schumann expert and I found his comments most enlightening. But he admitted that if he could only hear one composer for the rest of his life it would be Bach. Those who really understand music stand in awe of Bach, and time only makes his music sound more amazing.
I gave Steven a copy of my Judaic Concert Suite. He seemed happy to get it. He mentioned during the class that D minor was his favorite key, and as fate would have it, the suite is in D minor. He also mentioned that he was Jewish. Home run!
I was impressed with Bach's Six Suites for Cello. They are probably the most famous collection of cello pieces ever written. One of the reasons I wrote cello suites was to add to this history. I don't know how long my pieces will remain in the cello repertoire, but I have a feeling they will be there for a long time. I knew I could not write a Cantata or Orchestral Suite anywhere close to Bach, but I think my cello suites show even more of an understanding of the capacity of the cello, even if the music itself is on a simpler level.
And tomorrow Jeffrey Solow will be performing Dead Cello at Bargemusic! Should be a very exciting show. Through our efforts the Dead will live forever in the cello repertoire. Who knows, maybe 300 years from now, my Dead Cello will be the only thing people remember from them. Now, wouldn't THAT be something!
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| Cello and percussion, and then Bach, he says?
BACH PROJECT - Complete Cello Suites with Iranian Percussions: Christian-Pierre LA MARCA, cello & Madjid KHALADJ, Iranian percussions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD_6-DrsrM8
(Just home from a concert where this cellist played - Pianotrio with Yossif Ivanov and David Kadouch. Mendelssohn, Shostakovitch, very good for an ad hoc trio and young musicians, but musically very mature for their age. This was really making music together every inch of it!)
| For a good time, go here...
The Fiddlers from Pacific Northwest Suite by Aaron Minsky, performed by yours truly and David Tobey at David's opening for his art exhibit in NYC:
| Hi Tink!
I always liked Bernard Haitink. He had the opposite philosophy of Toscaninni. Toscaninni presented himself as the great master and the musicians were expected to follow his every move. He had a presence that scared the musicians and there was an intense edge to his music making that was striking. But Haitink had the belief that the musicians were colleagues with the conductor and that his job was to help the orchestra find its own interpretation. His sound is much freer than Toscannini's and often has more genuine emotion.
The problem with Toscaninni's model is that a lot of conductors thought they could act like him yet they didn't have the talent to back it up. Therefore playing in orchestras was often like being in a dictatorship run by a fool (as many are). I like Haitink's approach much better and I hope his concept spreads. Growing up as a rock fan I liked the camaraderie of the Beatles and the Dead. Music was about friends getting together and expressing themselves. It was not about being controlled by a maniacal idiot who got off on pushing his weight around. For this reason, I did not last long as an orchestra player.
Sounds like there are maniacs on Facebook too!
another seemingly concise comment on voncello in facebook
| Haitink still going strong at 80!
An awesome (in the true sense of the word) Bruckner 9th in the Concertgebouw with the Concertgebouw Orchestra happening right now at http://www.radio4.nl/page/live/breedband
- what a sound, what a symphony, what an orchestra. Speechless ...
| Grateful Mitzvah
The Canarsie people who check out this page probably remember Neal Ferenc. He is now a lawyer living in Vermont but when we were in high school he was as big a Grateful Dead fan as anyone. In fact, I almost failed math one semester when the two of us sat next to each other and sang Dead songs quietly during every math class. When I transitioned into classical cello and other types of music, Neal stayed true to the Dead and still is a regular concert goer, often traveling hours to see them.
Neal got my email about the Dead Cello concert and he said I was doing a "mitzvah" by bringing the music of the Grateful Dead into the classical repertoire.
I didn't realize I was doing a MITZVAH but now I feel even more proud of this accomplishment!
| Jeffrey Solow
Oh yeah, make me regret it even more !
Was trying to remember how come I know his name, it's from reading the interviews with cellists at Internet Cello Society http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/solow.html
Well, maybe some it will be recorded?
BTW - they have lots of music there but the links are dead. Just sent a msg to the webmaster to tell him/her: his address is also dead. Worst is: http://www.cello.org/ itself seems dead. Aargh, all that talk about the Dead ...
| Live Dead Cello
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| Long live Cello!
Great! And look, also one of the Bloch suites is on the program (Solow must have popped in here hear us talking about Bloch ...).
Pity it's too far away to come listen
| Dead Cello Lives!
The concert is also listed in Musical America:
Just do a search on "Dead Cello".
| Dead Cello, March 13th, Bargemusic
| Musician Humor
A jazz trio is playing a gig at an upscale nightclub. They play a classic
bebop tune at a fleet tempo with grace and ease. Then comes a Wayne
Shorter composition filled with mysterious harmonies, poignant melodies and daring
improvisations. Next they present a medley of lesser known Harold Arlen
songs that only a connoisseur would recognize, again played with elegant
styling and exquisite taste. The whole evening has been one dazzling
performance after another. Though the trio is playing background music and
not a formal concert , the audience can sense that the musical display
they are witnessing is of such a high caliber that the musicians should be
allowed to perform as they please without interference. Then a
well-dressed middle-aged man approaches the bandstand and asks the pianist "Can
you play Laura's Theme from Dr. Zhivago?" The pianist tells the man that
they are jazz musicians and that they usually don't take requests of that sort.
The man reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out three one hundred dollar
bills which he lays out on the piano. The pianist looks at the bass player
and drummer and says "Lara's Theme in G."
They play the tune in the fashion of the original version, the pianist emulating the Balalaika
textures with a delicate upper register tremolo. The song obviously does not present the
same level of difficulty that the trio is accustomed to dealing with.
As the pianist plays, he absent-mindedly gazes at the soundboard of his ebony
Steinway B and wonders about the grain in the wood."How would the
tonal characteristics be altered if the grain of the soundboard ran
perpendicular to the strings rather than parallel", he silently asks himself.
The bass player amuses himself with an assortment of well-placed double-stops and
harmonics. He daydreams as he looks at the top of his mid-nineteenth
century double bass made by French master, Paul Claudot, and wonders "How
many times has the top been varnished, how did the varnish of past years differfrom today's,
how would the resonance properties be affected if there were
no varnish at all?"
The drummer gazes down onto the single ply, medium
weight head of his 1950's vintage black oyster pearl snare drum and thinks to
himself "One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three."
| 4,999 hits!
Just one more to 5,000!
Then a a few hundred more and this video will become my #2 after only six months!
I wonder if it will become #1. But that will take it another 8,000 hits!
| Good Conversation
My latest You Tube video is inspiring some interesting conversation:
Feel free to join in.
| David Littman
"The new rules of conduct being imposed by the OIC, and acceded to by other states, give those who claim to represent Islam an exceptional status at the United Nations that has no legal basis and no precedent; it therefore gives ample reason for apprehension. Will a prohibition of discussion about certain political aspects of Islam become generally accepted at the United Nations and beyond, contradicting "the right to freedom of opinion and expression" promised by Article XIX of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Unless farsighted states, both Muslim and non-Muslim, make it their business to assert and reassert the need for freedom of speech, this precious liberty is at risk of being eroded throughout the system of international organizations."
| PC gone Mad
| UIC forces UN and its Human Rights Committee to be PC
Ah, send your lawyer friend this link, as well, an interesting article by David Littman on this topic as early as Sept. 1999 http://www.meforum.org/477/islamism-grows-stronger-at-the-united-nations
| Bloch should be played more often
It was, and then in Israel of all places, and with a probably all-Jewish orchestra (the Israel Philharmonic) at that - a very moving experience ...
Weird too, 'cs I travelled (alone, which other kibbutz volunteer was as crazy?) to Tel Aviv the 2.5 hours right after work, cashed a precious traveller cheque (those days ...) to be able to afford such an expensive ticket, gasped at the utter contrast between the kibbutz life I was used to and the Thomas Mann auditorium setting and audience, stayed in a very modest youth hostel near the beach, sneaked out before breakfast, couldnot resist a quick swim in the Meditteranean, and hopped on a very early bus back to work/business as usual, BUT sandwiched in between was this most magnificent happening! Maisky even also played the Dvorak concerto that night! I remember seeing the ad in the Jerusalem Post newspaper .. and freaking out.
Hey, I donot know the Leonard Rose version. Put that on my list.
| Maishky, Bernstein, and Block, Oh my!
I could hardly imagine a better combination for Schelomo! Do you know the Leonard Rose recording? That's a classic.
I saw the video link you posted and sent it to a lawyer friend who keeps arguing with me that we must embrace the "moderate" Muslim world.
Someone put one of my videos on a site called "The Bullshit Channel".
| Geneva, twice
That was a great link to Ernst Bloch's Shelomo. A very special piece of music! (will never forget - first heard it live in Tel Aviv with Maishky, Bernstein conducting ...)
But from Geneva, Bloch's town of birth, fast forward almost 100 years, some disturbing news (didnot know it was that bad):
David Littman, historian, Human Rights commission NGO Geneva, on capitulation of the UN to the OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk-VZtsszRY
| Probably hit 13,000 in a day or so!
| Grateful Trio