winter 2016 solo recital

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Congratulations to all who performed in the November solo recital, and thank you to Mr. Gomez (Ms. Danielle’s dad) for taking pictures!

Here are some photos, if you’d like to see…

outside listening: die 12 cellisten der Berliner Philharmoniker

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The Berlin Philharmonic is regarded as one of the world’s top orchestras, so it comes as no surprise that they would also possess a cello section of incredible talent and depth. The fact that the section has become its own critically-acclaimed ensemble is really quite unique. As for this combo of Faure’s Pavane sung by 12 cellos…pure gorgeousness. (Now if only they would release their arrangements).

outside listening: yo-yo ma + bach suite no. 1

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On September 7 2015, Yo-Yo Ma delivered a performance of all 6 Bach Suites to an audience of 5,000 at the BBC Proms–no breaks, no intermission, nobody else on the program. You can hear the entire performance here, see it here, here, here, here & here, and read about it here.

As if performing 2+ hours of music weren’t enough of a feat of focus and stamina, he offered up this encore at the end. Awesome.

outside listening: mischa maisky + bach suite no. 1

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Besides possessing a totally enviable alliterative name, Mischa Maisky has an approach to Bach that makes me think of the creation of a Zen rock garden. His bow arm floats with absolute calm, his gestures are calculated yet still natural and visually appealing; everything is done with mindfulness, precision, and economy of motion. Like Bylsma and Gutman, he gives some cheeky nods to Baroque improvisation, while also incorporating romantic Rostropovich-like vibrato and straight-ahead time feels (he was a student of Rostropovich, after all). I’m sure Mischa’s rich and reverberant tone is helped by the surrounding acoustics, but let’s give credit where credit is due: the dude can ring with the best of them.

outside listening: natalia gutman + bach suite no. 1

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I was not familiar with Natalia Gutman until I saw this video, but I really enjoy the purity of her phrasing, the simplicity of her tone, and how she moves about the fingerboard with such a sense of assuredness. You’ll notice that she uses an endpin, but prefers a Baroque bow hold like Anner Bylsma. If we put all these Bach interpretations on a spectrum, in my mind she would fall between those of Anner and Mstislav Rostropovich: a more judicious use of vibrato than Rostropovich, somewhat faster tempi than Bylsma, and a sound that is, well, Gutman.