Friday, October 31, 2014

Video of the week: J. S. Bach, or not?

The latest buzz in the classical music world is the supposition that Bach's wife, Anna Magdalena, wrote the Bach Cello Suites and possibly other pieces attributed to her husband.  See article HERE.  The oldest manuscript of the suites is indeed in her hand... 

Well, whether composed or transcribed by Mrs. Bach, let's listen to the Prelude of the Cello Suite No 1. in G Major.

 First, we have Mischa Maisky (several years ago before he was grey) in a very traditional performance.  Then, one of the most popular cellists of today by way of You Tube, Steven Sharp Nelson of the Piano Guys, with his eight cello arrangement.  (Kids, DON'T try those stunts he does at the end of the video at home!)  I should note that he has several cellos, and one has inner reinforcement for all those percussive hits!

Which performance do you prefer, and why?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Video of the Week: Making Violin (or cello) Strings

"Take a fascinating 2.5 minute behind-the-scenes journey into D'Addario & Co's Farmingdale, New York"

Students: What surprised you the most?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Video of the week: 21st Century Prodigy Sujari Britt

"Sujari Britt has been playing music since she was 2-years-old and has been playing cello since she was 4. When she was 8, she performed for President Obama at the White House. In this episode of PRODIGIES, watch as she tackles a piece of music even her instructors say is far beyond her years."

A young start plus a LOVE for the cello!  How exciting to see this young woman playing with such maturity at only 11.  Let's not the rest of us lose heart, though!  I think we will see her as a professional soloist as she hopes.  Even those of us who aren't professionals can enjoy expressing our emotions through the cello, as she mentions at the beginning of this video, though.

Students, on your practice sheet, write what you can practice from Suzuki book 1 which will help to prepare you for the bowing she is using at 3:40.

Rare footage of "The Trio"

"Cellist, Violinist, Pianist - The Trio (1953) - Extremely Rare Film Landmark musical performances were a staple of early television, but unfortunately many of the early examples have been destroyed. This extremely rare film documents cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, violinist Jascha Heifetz, and pianist Artur Rubenstein. Somewhat stilted in the way only early television can be, it nevertheless showcases the technique and personalities of three of the 20th century's greatest musicians."

"Grisha" Piatigorsky is one of my students' cellistic great grandfathers. :-)

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Love Yarn Day!

No kidding, I stumbled upon this on the Craft Yarn Council's website early this morning while looking for crochet patterns online.  I Love Yarn Day is the second Friday of October - today!

I also found this on their site.  Happy healthy yarn crafts!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Our readers are...

I am writing mostly for my students, friends and family, and never expected a big audience, but sometimes it feels like I'm talking to air, with so few comments, and almost no one clicks those little boxes, "like" etc. But for instance, here are last week's stats on readers, which is pretty typical:

Canada - 26
United States - 15
France - 2
Brazil - 1
Denmark - 1
Poland - 1
Russia - 1

I wonder what percentage was only looking for the recipe I don't have? Blogger's stats on search terms is pretty weak.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Video of the Week: 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic

Or, if you prefer their native tongue: Die 12 Cellisten der Berliner Philharmoniker.

There are lots of cello choirs and cello ensembles around these days, but it seems to me this was the first to become popular.  And probably the best!  What an awesome sound. Gabriel Faure's Pavane.

This piece was originally written for piano and choir in the late 1800s, but it is most popular in the orchestral arrangement. I think it works well for a cello choir.

On your practice sheet (or in comments below if you wish) note four observations.