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Von Cello 

Post No. 2182
10/24/2008 01:14 PM
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Dance With Me

Dance with me, I want to be your partner. Can't you see...

One of the bandmembers of Orleans, who had a hit with the song above, is now the congressman of my area. His name is John Hall and he will be at my home this weekend!

Check him out:

Von Cello 

Post No. 2181
10/22/2008 09:06 AM
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Unsung Heroes

Maryann MaPartlan is one of those unsung heroes. She is a great musician but is not known by the general public. There are other great musicians who are even less known. Take Ray Cohen. I played a Waltz Night with him last night with a small group. During band breaks he would play "cocktail" music, which basically means improvised arrangements of American Standards. There were times when he was playing when I closed my eyes and I felt like I was listening to a great classical composition. He finds meaning in tunes that most people just throw off. He does intricate lines and chords, and he paints scenes that sound more like Brahms or Mendelssohn than Richard Rogers or Irving Berlin. The man is a genius, yet he never cut a CD, he's never been on TV or the radio. He just plays the New York party circuit, as he has for about fifty years!

Sure, he makes top dollar for the club date business. Sure, he never had to teach or do anything for a living but play the piano. Sure, many of the richest people in New York demand that he be hired when they throw a party or a large event, but outside of that circle he is virtually unknown. An unsung hero.

He alwyas asks me about Von Cello, which I take as a compliment. I wish I cuuld tell him that we are touring the world, or that our CD is shooting up the charts. I suppose I am better known then he, but I'm far from being "famous". I suppose I'm a bit of an unsung hero myself. Imagine if Eric Clapton never got that big break. He could have been a fine session guitar player, doing recordings for singners, and playing club dates and doing some teaching on the side. Maybe a better example is Van Morrison. He easilly could have been a lounge singer if he didn't get those few hits when he was young. A lot of the music business is based on luck or connections. There are so many musicians out there who are as good or better than most of what the public sees. They are the unsung heroes, just as there are unsung heroes in every field. Some get the honor and the glory, but sometimes the truly great go unnoticed or barely noticed.

Post No. 2180
10/21/2008 12:39 PM
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All The Things You Are

I remember Aaron's video of All The Things You are from a few weeks ago.
Today I was checking out the NPR website. They have a jazz show that was a tribute to Marian McPartland's 90th birthday.
To close the show, Wynton Marsalis joins Marian McPartland's trio on stage to play All The Things You Are.
Wynton can really play.

Post No. 2179
10/21/2008 03:06 AM
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google super book search has minsky!! best seller

here[URL=]best seller[/URL]
Von Cello 

Post No. 2178
10/20/2008 11:04 PM
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The most amazing sound in the universe

Von Cello 

Post No. 2177
10/20/2008 09:12 AM
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Classical Gigs

This weekend I performed the Brandenburg Concerto #3 with a string quartet. We played it at NYU Polytech in Brooklyn. This is the same school that helped develop things like the microwave oven, bio hazzard equipment, NASDAQ computers, space technology, etc. So why was I playing Bach at this school? Because for the past several years they have hired a string quartet to play during their orientation session.

We played mostly lighter music, like light classical (minuets, simple piano transcriptions) or Broadway show tunes, etc. And during that time I felt like I was just a background musician filling up the room with pleasant sound. But when we played the Bach I felt like I was demonstrating a great piece of technological genius. Yes, there are many people who can write a good melody, and there are those who can improvise interesting lines around a melody, there are those who can use rhythm in a way that makes you feel like you have to dance ... but then there are a handful of great geniuses who create works of such complexity and inspirational value that they stand as mankind's greatest acheivements along with space travel and the like. Indeed, on that rocket ship that was sent out into deep space a few years back they included a recording of the music of Bach. (They also included some music by the Beatles, which I always found a little questionable, but maybe they thought that whatever civilization finally finds the spacecraft may be into rock! Who knows?)

Post No. 2176
10/18/2008 08:51 AM
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Latvia and Rock and Cello!

Am all for Fugues. When as a quartet we put Haydn quartets on the music stand, I always quickly try to find the ones with the fugues (a due, or even a tre sogetti - whaw).

Sadly, seem to be just zapping thru pages these days (still busy notating hard to read orch. part using software and Aaron, hope to check out all the YouTube clips and about the book) but here is something about Latvia and cello's and rock. Didnot read, didnot listen, just quickly passing it on here.

Post No. 2175
10/17/2008 12:09 PM
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podcast a dud

3 days in itunes and no bites
nobody has subscribed to my feed.
i prefer youtube vidcasts

Ill update my murciapedia youtube page
Von Cello 

Post No. 2174
10/17/2008 09:00 AM
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Fugue Appreciation Day!

Fugues are music at the highest level. Bach, or course, is the great master. He wrote dozens if not hundreds of fugues. I thought it was very fitting that when he died he was in the middle of writing yet another fugue. In his "Art of the Fugue" there is a piece that he was writing and never finished because he died. One of his students wrote on the score "And here is where the master laid down his pen for the last time". (That may not be an exact quote but it was something like that.) Someone finished the fugue, I forget who, but often people play the piece and stop right where Bach stopped writing. It is so weird to hear this complex fugue just stop, especially when you realize that that is the exact moment when Bach stopped composing!

Franz Joseph Haydn lived into his 80's. He is one of the rare great masters who stopped composing and spent the last years of his life editing his music and making sure it was all neatly compiled. That also makes sense, that the father of the symphony and the string quartet woulld neatly tie up his musical contribution and leave the world in an orderly fashion.

But how else could Bach leave this world, except in the middle of a fugue!
Von Cello 

Post No. 2173
10/16/2008 01:07 PM
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It's All Good

My love of classical did not replace my love of rock either. I was also drawn more to the baroque, probably because it had a beat, which makes it closer to rock than, say, romantic music ... not to mention "modern". (I put modern in quotes because so called modern music is now many decades old; some being almost 100 years old. They now talk about post-modern but that always srikes me as a weird phrase. Isn't the definition of "modern" contemporary, i.e. what's going on now? Or was "modern" a phase that coincided with double door refridgerators, hi-fi stereo equipment, and wing-tailed Cadilacs?"

I find that some classical music has such a strong "groove" that it can be said to rock. There is some Beethoven that is definitely in this category. There is also rock that sounds pretty classical when you think about it. Like some of those heavy metal ballads. They are really romantic era-type melodies set to a strong beat. They owe at least as much to the European tradition as they do to the Afro-American one if not more. So, it's all good. And the more you know about th music, the more you realize that rock and classical are not as different as people think.

Post No. 2172
10/16/2008 11:15 AM
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I was introduced to Bach's music when I took a music appreciation class during my freshman year in college. I found that I like the complexity and interplay of baroque music (fugues in particular). I used to listen to the Brandenburg Concertos and The Four Seasons when studying for exams.
Baroque didn't replace my love for rock and roll, new wave, R&B, etc. My appreciation for all of the above happily coexists.
I'm glad that you all enjoyed the youtube clip.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2171
10/16/2008 09:09 AM
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From the Xlibris page...

Von Cello 

Post No. 2170
10/15/2008 11:33 AM
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It's Here!

Beyond Faith by Aaron Minsky has officially been published!

This is the fulfillment of twenty years of effort! The book now has its own webpage where you can order it.

Von Cello 

Post No. 2169
10/13/2008 07:37 PM
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Post No. 2168
10/13/2008 03:10 PM
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im glad i asked myself

just joined apples itunes
bought iphone joined with creditcard

looked up von cello and found all your cds there available
i looked for podcasts but didnt find a von cello podcast as you do better with your vc youtube vidcast

anyway in apples itunes store i found your cds and read the comments and added my 3 cents(adding comment only poss if you give creditcard purchase necessary,jus give info as you join itunes .

Post No. 2167
10/13/2008 12:47 PM
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Bach - viola da gamba - Abel by Nima ben David

Also this performance of the same Bach Sonata for viola da gamba is nice;
And they're extra hard to play on the cello, these sonatas !

Oh, about viola da gamba: came across this unknown solo piece a month ago: (hey, this is also for all the silent readers here in the guestbook who are not that much into classical music - just check it out - it could be an eye-opener!)

Post No. 2166
10/13/2008 12:09 PM
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The Fifth!

Whawy - that's my most beloved cadenza ... I can listen to it a 1,000 times. Such genious.
And the gamba sonata ...
this performance is nice.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2165
10/13/2008 10:16 AM
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Bach Rock!

"Isn't it great to be arguing about Bach? So much more satisfying than the economy! I understand your point and I don't deny it, but there is room for diversity. If everyone played Bach the same way that would get boring. At this fast tempo I may miss some of the subtle interplay but I also get a broad sweep that I would miss if it were slower. There is also a certain excitement that is refreshing, even though I would not want it all the time. I bet Bach would smile at hearing this. "

I made the above comment in a debate with another listener at this site:

Von Cello 

Post No. 2164
10/12/2008 01:40 PM
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Bach Around the Clock!

And of course there is Glenn Gould:

I love that part that starts at 4:02 on the time clock. It sounds like they are saying "I love you" "I love you". Then you get that wild and crazy trill section. Wow!
Von Cello 

Post No. 2163
10/12/2008 01:21 PM
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Brandenburg Racetrack!

I enjoyed this one so much I posted a comment.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2162
10/12/2008 11:47 AM
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News Flash

Von Cello Rules is about to go over 4,000 hits.

Iron Man is now over 1,000 hits and is getting close to passing the Woodstock interview.

New Orleans Jazz Man is leading the pack of International Cello Encores, followed by Mongolian Horsemen.

Von Cello vs. Bill O'Reilly and Richard Dawkins has stalled in the 200's. There were some interesting posts from atheists, but they all ran for cover when I gave them some evidence for the existence of God!

Meanwhile I keep checking out that Rostropovitch clip. The more you hear it the more it grows on you.

Von Cello 

Post No. 2161
10/11/2008 12:11 AM
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Shostakovitch Rocks!

Talk about classical music that rocks!

Go Rostropovitch go!

(By the way, while my high school friends were seeing the Grateful Dead and The Mothers over and over, I was seeing Rostropovitch!)

(The last time I saw him was at a NY Violoncello Society meeting. It was just months before he died. At that meeting my wife Karen handed him a copy of my Judaic Concert Suite for solo cello.)
Von Cello 

Post No. 2160
10/10/2008 08:35 PM
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The Three B's

Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms...

Some good old Beethoven with another classic and amazing trio of musicians:

Von Cello 

Post No. 2159
10/10/2008 06:26 PM
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The Truth is Revealed With Age

I think it was Bruno Walter who said that one can not appreciate Mozart until he is fifty. Of course that is a bit of an exaggeration but there is truth to it. As we age we see the trivial disappear and we understand why other things remain. The vast majority of the music we listened to in high school is gone. You hear about 100 hits from the "Classic Rock" era on the radio. How many thousands of times have you heard Pink Floyd songs from Dark Side of the Moon, Stairway to Heaven, Layla, Hotel California ... but almost all the rest you never hear. When is the last time you heard the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Hot Tuna, David Bromberg? Remember how big they were? And what besides Born to Be Wild have you heard from Steppenwolf, or what have you heard besides Mississippi Queen from Mountain? It's all gone!

But classical music is like an old bank account. Markets go up and down and fortunes are made and lost, but the money in the bank account keeps growing little by little and never disappears. As we age we see the choices of our youth flitter away and we notice that there is a music out there that we heard as kids and still hear today. It hasn't disappeared even after centuries! Just listen to that Bach Brandenburg ... will that ever sound tired and boring? Impossible. It's a monument. What about that Mendelssohn slow movement. During the Casals version I was on the verge of tears. Who described the budding feelings of youthful love than Mendelssohn, who died before his 40th birthday?

They say the truth shall set you free. I don't know how true that is, but the truth does get revealed as you get older ... assuming you keep looking for it!

Post No. 2158
10/10/2008 10:13 AM
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Humour is the best weapon.

Hey, with the stock market crashing and unemployment rising and dire predictions about the end of the world as we know it, at least we can still laugh!

Eh, not if it's up to you-know-who, acc. to this:,2933,431866,00.html.
(Too bad most of these guys haven't invented humour yet, and certainly can't laugh about themselves.)

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