Have you noticed that we have been focusing on Johannes Brahms lately? We call him one of the three big B's in classical music. But do my students know how important he is to them?!
I've told more than a few my cello history, and how, a few years after letting the cello go upon high school graduation, I attended a concert. Sitting in the back half of WWU's PAC Concert Hall, I heard the opening notes of Brahms' Requiem played by Whatcom Symphony Orchestra's bass and cello sections. I had played in this orchestra for about three and a half of my four years in high school. Learned a lot there from my more experienced stand partners and principal cellists!
But now I was in the audience on that hot June afternoon... or was it the evening concert? I forget. But I can't forget those opening low notes... Oh! An unexpected wave of emotion in those first measures! First the low chords with the bass, then the singing theme before the rest of the orchestra joins! Listening to a recording isn't quite the same as live music, but you can hear, here, what it was that tugged at my heart. Why was I in the audience and not playing the cello in that orchestra?! I don't know if it was that instant, or maybe into the 2nd movement or when, but it wasn't too long - I knew I had to play again.
Sooo... students, who knows, if it wasn't for Brahms, would I be playing my cello? Maybe, but I think it's okay to say that Brahms played a part in giving Salmon Arm a cello teacher. :-)
I didn't know it at the time, but that concert may have also been the first time I saw my husband... or at least heard him. He was singing in the choir. But of course I didn't notice that handsome tenor... there were cellos! :-)
Students: This video is the full work of "A German Requiem", over an hour long,
and I encourage you to watch or at least listen to the whole thing
(there are ads, but they can be skipped). But if you can't do that, at least listen to the first movement and the beginning of the second (16 minutes). And you might want to turn up your speakers to make sure not to miss those first pianissimo notes!
Oh, and can you name the other two big B's?