I admit to a terrible bias because Jacqueline du Pre is likely my favorite cellist of all time, but I find her interpretation of Edward Elgar’s cello concerto to be the definitive one. This video shows her performance of the first movement with the London Philharmonic in 1967. She almost goes into a sort of altered state when […]
Astor Piazzolla almost singlehandedly created a new genre–literally nuevo tango–by pairing traditional tango with jazz and classical ideas. This music seems to be especially friendly to the cello, as everyone from Yo-Yo Ma to the 2Cellos now count Piazzolla compositions among their standard repertoire. Video 1: live recording of Astor Piazzolla performing the original (on bandoneon) Video 2: Yo-Yo Ma solo […]
NPR Music describes Ben Sollee as a “genre-bending cellist”, and his music as “a unique take on folk”. I’m not sure what category I’d place him in, but I do know that his voice and phrasing remind me of Paul Simon, and his cello playing makes me think of the rhythmic stylings of bluegrass.
Marin Marais was a French Baroque composer who wrote this beautiful piece about the ringing bells of St. Etienne-du-Mont cathedral in Paris. You probably recognize the violin, but the other two instruments might be less familiar. The instrument that looks like a piano is a harpsichord or a cembalo. The instrument that looks like a cello […]
Sol Gabetta is an exciting Argentinean cellist currently making the concert rounds in Europe. Here she plays an unusual piece by Latvian composer Peteris Vasks as an encore. Why is it unusual? Listen to find out. v
I’m more familiar with the 2Cellos than I am with the 4Cellists, but I daresay I enjoy them more. My inner music snob desperately wants to scoff at any movie soundtrack masquerading as concert hall fare, but these guys won me over with this inventive arrangement and their flamboyant artistry.
I happened upon this performance of a David Popper solo piece (arranged by Croatian cellist/pedagogue Valter Despalj) by accident, and I’m glad I did. I love watching groups of cellists together and noticing the different instruments, techniques, styles, tones and personalities on display. p
I discovered Gaelynn Lea when she beat out over 6,000 artists to win NPR Music’s 2nd annual Tiny Desk Contest. I find her sound haunting, complex, raw, and utterly unique.