Message from the Editor
"Tim Janof, please don't go anywhere, so I can find you! Oh yeah, you're on a moving train, so you can't go anywhere." That was the voice of Gitta, wife of the late Dimitry Markevitch, over the public address system on the short train ride from Lausanne to Montreux, Switzerland. What a wonderful start to my magical visit with the Markevitch's last October. Who knew that, only a few months later, Dimitry, at a vibrant 79 years old, would be gone?
Dimitry and Gitta were the perfect hosts. They offered us their bed, made us wonderful meals, and talked our ears off on subjects ranging from Swiss politics and healthcare, the old days in Hollywood, musical gossip, and, of course, the cello. They taught us how to drink vodka Russian-style: inhale deeply, throw a shot of vodka down the hatch, then exhale slowly while taking a bite of smoked salmon on a blini topped with creme fresh (or any other food), enjoying the rush of warmth in the chest. If I weren't trying to be such a gracious guest, I probably would have had twice as much.
I was taken aback by Dimitry's tireless curiosity. For instance, he was constantly changing his ideas on how to play Bach. He showed me folder after folder, one per year, of his evolving ideas on fingerings and bowings for the Suites. Even though he has "only" published his edition Bach Suites a few times, I'd say he had at least 15 personal editions. He was always looking for new and better ideas.
Dimitry had an amazing life. In addition to studying with Piatigorsky, he had played in the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. He was in the orchestra when it played in the famous Moscow concert; Shostakovich, who was sitting in the audience that night, was only a bow's reach from him. Markevitch was also offered the opportunity to become a Hollywood movie actor on several occasions when he was young because of his strikingly good looks (Gitta must have been striking too, since she was a Dior model). He learned later that one of the offers had come from a man who turned about to be Jack Warner (i.e. Warner Brothers).
Fortunately for the cello world, he didn't accept Mr. Warner's offer, since Dimitry's contributions to cello scholarship since that time are beyond question. He discovered the Westphal and Kellner manuscripts of the Bach Suites (enough of a contribution in itself), wrote two books -- Cello Story and The Solo Cello -- and numerous articles in publications around the world.
His cello library of over 3000 scores was jaw-dropping. Of course, I immediately went for his collection of 70-plus editions of the Bach Suites, which go all the way back to the first edition in 1824 by Louis Pierre Martin Norblin. Thankfully, he made sure that his library would not be dispersed after his death; he had finalized an agreement with a library in Geneva only a few months ago.
I was shocked when I heard that Dimitry had died. He had so much left to accomplish, including the publication of his updated Bach Suites edition. His passing leaves a real void in the cello world, and I will miss a dear, dear man.
Farewell, Mr. Markevitch.
>> My teacher tells me I move around too much when I play. How much is too much?
Tim Janof replies: Some measure of mobility is necessary in order to minimize tension. I think everybody would agree that natural, unaffected movement is just fine. But there is a point where too much movement not only distracts the listener/watcher from the music, but it hampers one's playing, resulting in the unintentional release of bow contact, scratchy and overly percussive attacks, missed shifts, and so on.
Many times excessive movement takes away from the music, since all the energy is going into moving your body instead of into the bow and fingers. For example, I know of a well-known cellist who is quite the head-bobber. Every time he wants to make an accent, he bobs his head like a heaving chicken. Unfortunately, it is rare that an accent is ever actually heard, since his energy goes into head-bobbing instead of into making an accent with his bow. What a waste of motion!
Where is the line? It's different for everybody, so I can't tell you anything definite. Just keep in mind that the music must figure first in your mind. You should pay more attention to the sounds that are actually being emitted from your cello, which requires a degree of objectivity in your approach, instead of wallowing in your own internal reactions to the music, or any desire to emote or to put on a good show.
>> I was just reading about people's thoughts on orchestra auditions in the last newsletter. Very interesting.
Do you really think its ok to hire someone without much experience that plays well into a position of authority? In the case of the assistant principal of NY Philharmonic, she is an amazing player, so I am torn. I know that other businesses bring in people with the expectation that they need some training, but I hope they don't do this for people who are taking positions of leadership. Nothing pisses me off more than to have a "boss" who doesn't know what he or she is doing, regardless of his or her "talent."
>> I am a doctoral student of Hans Jensen at Northwestern and we are actively pursuing copies of original manuscripts for the major works for cello. So far we have located both Haydn concerti, the Schumann, Dvorak, and the Elgar concerti. We have found it very difficult to find concertos such as Lalo, Saint Saëns, and even Rococo variations. We have also had problems locating the Beethoven sonatas. Do you have a better method for this, or is there some place where this info is printed? It seems strange as cellists that it is so difficult to find these facsimiles. Most thematic catalogues don't give the information as to where these manuscripts are located. You would think with modern technology that someone would have published something that listed where the major works for their instrument were located. Any help you could give us would be greatly appreciated. It seems so far anything we have found has been half skill and half luck. I would appreciate any help that you or anyone close to the website could give me.
James Nicholas replies: I have just had a little exchange of correspondence with Mr. Jensen on the subject. I am not sure whether he has already been successful in locating the Dvorak concerto manuscript. If he has, I would love to have a copy myself!!! If not, I had offered to write in Czech to Prague (Antonin Dvorak Museum, etc) to try to get information on the latest whereabouts of the manuscript. As far as I know, it's in the (private) possession of Dvorak's heirs, or WAS as of the late 50's and early 60's when the Dvorak Complete edition (Artia) was being compiled. That may, of course, have changed. Please let me know.
Research is like looking for a job; there is no single textbook formula as to how to do it quickly and easily. Sometimes there's a tool that makes it easy, and sometimes it's just drudgery. Sometimes a bit of information filed in the memory bank will cause a connection to be made later. And sometimes you have to make 50 inquiries to get one response.
There is always the grim fact that the manuscripts of many major works simply do not exist any more. Fires, wars, and politics have seen to that. The other grim fact is that most musicians simply do not care, either!!!
In the case of Beethoven (as well as Schubert), he doesn't seem to have really valued his own manuscripts per se; some were used as Stichvorlagen (publisher's copies from which the engravings were prepared) and then presumably discarded. Nor does a manuscript necessarily give an indication of the composer's final wishes (look no further than the last 8-10 bars of the Schumann concerto, or Mahler's Fifth Symphony, with its over 280 "improvements," and still counting, at the time of Mahler's death).
The autographs of the Beethoven op. 5 sonatas are "missing and presumed dead"; the earliest source we have is the first edition, by Artaria (Vienna, 1797).
I have a facsimile of the first movement of the Beethoven A major; the rest of it is evidently missing. But there is no doubt that this facsimile is nowhere near indicating what his final (or latest) conception was; even some of the figuration in the piano part is not what we know today, and the articulations are wildly inconsistent. The earliest sources we have are the editions by Artaria and by Breitkopf & Haertel, both 1809. There are several letters by Beethoven as well concerning the removal and reinstating of the ff in the very beginning of the Scherzo.
The autographs of the two op. 102 sonatas are still extant. I can't remember offhand where they are (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna?), but all the information is in the critical report of the Henle Collected edition, which you probably have in your library. (This is published as a seperate volume; it's NOT in the volume of cello sonatas).
For Beethoven manuscripts, in general, I would try to access the on-line listings of the collections of the Austrian National Library (Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek Wien) and the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Wien; also the Stiftung Preussicher Kulturbesitz, which is what's left of the former Preussicher Staatsbibiolthek in Berlin. Many of their holdings (including the Schumann cello concerto, the Mozart violin and late piano concerti, and the last Mozart symphonies) disappeared during the Hitler years and ended up in the holdings of the Jagiellon Univerity in Krakow, Poland. There might be Beethoven in there, too. Also look at the Library of Congress' site. In the case of the Lalo and Saint-Saëns concerti, do the thematic catalogs give any clue? Who were the first publishers? Durand for the Saint-Saëns, I think. Perhaps Lalo as well? You might try writing to the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, as well as to Durand.
As to the Rococo, the published version that we all grew up on is much different than Tchaikovsky's conception of it. Fitzenhagen changed around the order of the variations (actually very effectively) and left one out, if I remember correctly. Tchaikovsky consented to its publication in that form, although he may not have been very happy about it. John Matter wrote a paper on it which you can get from the Indiana University Music Library. As far as the original, Steven Isserlis has recorded it.
How are your French and German? It helps NOT to write in English, especially with the former.
Lastly, the best editions and manuscript research are absolutely meaningless if one ignores tempo indications, plays with high sharps and low flats, and uses vibrato constantly. Something to think about. Notions of 19th-century performance style have become far more distorted than even musical texts! (By the way, take a look at the chords in the first 8 bars of the Dvorak solo part. Compare every printed solo part to the Artia score, or even the old Simrock score, which is correct on this point. There are no parallel fifths, and no augmented chord in the 4th bar.)
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by Tim Janof
Born in New York, George Neikrug was a pupil of the legendary Emanuel Feuermann and is probably the only remaining student who is still concertizing. In 1943, he met the well-known pedagogue D.C. Dounis, whose revolutionary approach to the problems of string playing and teaching influenced him to completely revamp his playing and create the unique style he has retained to this day. This association lasted for a period of fifteen years, and Neikrug felt such a debt to Dounis for all the knowledge and skills he had learned that he resolved to devote his life to teaching at schools, such as Boston University, and giving master classes all over the world.
Since Neikrug's New York debut in 1947, he has held principal positions with the Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras. He was also principal cellist of the Paramount Pictures Recording Orchestra and the Columbia Recording Orchestra, which recorded the historic series of performances by Igor Stravinsky and Bruno Walter, who called Neikrug a "genuine musician and a real virtuoso of the cello."
In 1960, Leopold Stokowski asked Neikrug to perform Bloch's Schelomo with him and the NBC Symphony at Carnegie Hall, with a recording for United Artists to follow. After this performance, Stokowski sent him an autographed photo with the inscription "for George Neikrug's Schelomo -- unforgettable." In 1979, Neikrug performed all six Bach solo suites in one concert at Lincoln Center. In an enthusiastic review of this concert, John Rockwell of The New York Times concluded, "there was a beauty that was almost painful. We wish Mr. Neikrug would play all the violin suites for us."
Mr. Neikrug has appeared as a soloist with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Bruno Walter, Leopold Stokowski and Yehudi Menuhin, who stated, "I was most impressed with his profound and accurate understanding of his instrument, as well as string playing in general. He is a first-rate musician, and I cannot recommend him too highly." His recording of Bloch's "Schelomo" with Leopold Stokowski and the Symphony of the Air was recently re-released on the EMI label. In addition, Sony has recently released his recording of a duet by Mozart for cello, baritone and orchestra with George London, baritone, and the Columbia Symphony, conducted by Bruno Walter.
In 1962, Mr. Neikrug accepted a teaching position at the Hochschüle in Frankfurt, Germany, as a Fulbright Professor sponsored by Ernst Toch and Bruno Walter. He has held teaching positions at the Detmold Hochschule in Germany, Oberlin College, and the University of Texas at Austin before joining the faculty at Boston University School for the Arts in 1971. He was selected to receive the 1995 "Artist Teacher Award" from the American String Teachers Association. In 1996, he was invited by Janos Starker and the University of Indiana to receive the "Chevalier du Violoncelle" award for outstanding lifetime achievement on the cello. Many of his students are in major symphony orchestras all over the world, including some in principal positions and teaching at major universities.
TJ: You studied with Diran Alexanian for a year. What was he like as a teacher?
GN: He was brilliant, musically speaking. He particularly stressed the harmonies of pieces we worked on. No matter what was being played, he would accompany me on his cello, playing all the correct harmonies and explaining how the tension and relaxation influenced the interpretation of the music.
When it came to technique, however, he got me into such trouble that, even though he had given me a personal scholarship, I left him without a word. I had played a recital after studying with him for a year and my friends asked what had happened to my playing. My sound had disappeared because he had asked me to do incredibly unnatural things, including contorted bow holds. Oddly, he claimed that he based his ideas on what Casals did, and yet Casals had a very free bow arm, while Alexanian's was very stiff. Even though I had much to learn from him musically, I simply had to leave. It took me a year to undo the damage of my time with him.
TJ: You also studied with Joseph Schuster, former principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic.
GN: Schuster was an excellent craftsman on the cello. He was Russian, but he had studied in Germany, where he became friends with Feuermann. We would play through the Duport etudes and he would tell me if something were out of tune or rhythmically incorrect, without analyzing the root causes of my problems. He thought I was musically talented but he was disappointed with my technique.
TJ: How long did you study with Emanuel Feuermann?
GN: I studied with him for about three years. He used to live in Scarsdale, which is a suburb of New York, my hometown. In the summertime he would go to Santa Monica, California, and I'd follow him there to continue my lessons.
He held me to the same incredibly high standards to which he held himself, so he would indulge his passion for fine musical details when discussing my playing. He would insist that subtle bursts of vibrato coincide with each bow change so that the articulation was clear and the energy level of the performance was maintained. For a virtuoso, he was a little more analytical than most about his own playing, but he still wasn't completely aware of how he did certain things. At that time I wasn't as technically developed, so I came away from each lesson feeling that he was untouchably great and I was hopeless.
(Click here for the complete transcript.)
Errors, Revisions and Corrections, and the Misprint List
ERRORS AND THEIR CORRECTIONS
What is meant by "errors"
One of the last things that may cross our minds when teaching, studying, or performing the A Major Sonata of Beethoven is the matter of errors in the music, on the printed page, as well as whether and how they have been corrected. It is essential to be assured that the music we are playing, working on, teaching, is reliable. It is unsettling enough to encounter typos on the printed page, as many of us have, on occasion, let alone to study the music with a suspicion that there may be something wrong with the music. But, as I discuss in the previous parts of this study, errors do exist. In print, errors are in the first edition published by Breitkopf & Härtel (referred to from now on as B & H) in Leipzig, in April, 1809, and continue up to the present day. Yet, as we shall see, the problems in printed versions are not necessarily the result of typos.
The word "error" is used here as a catch-all term to refer to a host of problems and conditions of various kinds found in printed editions and in the Autograph of the first movement, examined by Lewis Lockwood in his seminal study. 1 I use the word "error" in its common meaning to indicate something is wrong, awry, or amiss, and also use it as a companion to the word "correction," the word which Lockwood uses to refer to the changes and revisions he sees in the Autograph.2 In daily life, as in a Beethoven manuscript, it is things that are wrong which get "corrected." We don't "correct" something that meets with our approval. Beethoven's revisions in the Autograph, as with all of his manuscripts, are one type of correction. The revisions reflect his dissatisfaction with the musical idea he wrote down, or, perhaps, with some aspect of the idea. As a result of his dissatisfaction, he changed his mind about what he wrote and altered it.
(Click here for the complete transcript.)
by Ruth Phillips
It is hardly surprising that so much spiritual practice centres on the breath, for within the simple act of inhalation and exhalation sits the fundamental paradox on which forms such as Buddhist meditation, Yoga, the poetry of Rumi, and the cantatas of Bach are built. Consciously working with the breath challenges a materialistic society that is addicted to having and holding, in that everything, including life itself, once taken in, has to be let go of. Consequently it challenges a musical climate that has become fixed in that materialism.
The in-breath followed by the out-breath is expansion and contraction which is the essence of bowing; it is receiving and giving inspiration, which is the essence of performance; it is tension and release, flow and ebb, life and death, control and abandon. It is, in effect, our greatest teacher. Why, then, when I asked dozens of string players -- some fresh out of college and others experienced professionals -- whether their teachers had ever mentioned breath, did 90% say 'no'?
(Click here for the complete transcript.)
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>> Repeats in Bach
Is it common for professionals to not follow all repeats in performances or recordings? I am curious to know how most of you play the suites. So many movements have the two main sections that are repeated on paper but, to you, is it too long or repetitive to follow these markings? My orchestra teacher at school usually has us repeat the first section and not the second in other pieces that are written this way. If I played some of the suites this way, would it be considered wrong?
The reason to take the repeats in Bach's Suites (or any piece) is not just because they're written in, or because cellists invariably do them on recordings.
Some of the things I think about:
Bach wrote the Suites with either equal size first and second halves of the dance movements or with the second halves being longer. To take first repeats without second repeats tampers with those proportions.
I find the more interesting material is in the second halves. The harmonic adventures are more wide ranging.
The fifth movements are inherently some of the longest. But to take all the repeats in those movements, then the da capo but not to take all repeats in other movements really makes the minuets, etc. grossly larger than the other movements.
Even without ornamentation or other tricky business, to repeat second halves naturally creates variety. That is, the material in the dominant (just after the double bar) is heard in the context of the dominant the first time, heard in the context of the tonic on the repeat.
Of course, there are opportunities for ornaments. Personally, I don't feel a need to add many repeats. Herr Bach wrote pretty full-textured music to start with.
Repeats offer opportunities for interpretive alternatives -- different voicings, dynamics, colors, etc. In some movements in which the sources differ, I take the opportunity on the repeat to follow a different source. (e.g. A.M. Bach on the first time, Kellner on the repeat.)
Now, in real life do I take all the repeats? Absolutely not. For example, I have a recital coming up with Suites 1 and 4 on the program. The presenter wants a not-too-long program, so I will probably not even repeat the second half of the Bourrée on the first go-around.
If you ask me, the bottom line is: do what you want, but have a reason.
I have a pretty crazy, wide, intense, yet (if I think about it) controllable vibrato. But many others find my vibrato uncontrolled and sickening. Some people prefer to vibrate only below the note and just up to it, and others like to vibrate behind the note and past the note. And some others tend to not like the perpendicular like hand position where it looks like I am rubbing an orange but rather that it be more slanted and straightened and bend the first joint in the finger.
yo yo jr
Good vibrato is essential to good tone, and a rich, individual and widely (not wildly!) expressive tone is a facet of musical individuality that has been homogenized in the last decades.
There are as many possibilities for the created sound as there are personalities, but here are the groundrules: string playing imitates the vocal. Our vibrato should imitate that of great singers (not the bad ones!). There is a natural range of speed and width, outside of which it sounds either hysterical, laggardly or just plain gross, and it is not really all that subjective. I find that when I (alas only occasionally) find just the right vibrato the cello sound really blooms and resonates.
It should start at the beginning of the note and last through it, unless for special effect (You would be amazed at how many of today's 'great' cellists put swells all over the music by vibrating late into the note for no apparent reason). The oscillations should sound even, not asymmetric. You should have a wide palette of vibrato- both speed and width- at your disposal in order to appropriately color the music. I have noticed that you can generally predict what someone's vibrato will sound like just by watching them. If the hand looks distorted and cramped at funny angles, in my experience the vibrato comes out sounding ugly and lopsided.
This is one of the great and truly neglected sides of our art and an excellent topic for discussion.
>> Cleaning and Polishing
Does anyone have a good recipe for cleaning and/or polishing solution? An alternative would be, what commercial brands are the best? Is there any care that needs to be exercised in using these fluids?
Polish and cleaner are indeed touchy subjects. Cleaner is very difficult to discuss in generalities because each instrument's varnish is a little different, therefore it's characteristics will be different. When we undertake a cleaning process at our studio we always start with the least caustic solution and graduate up from there, being extremely careful that your cleaning solution only removes the dirt. Some instruments are much more temperamental than others, and even water can remove the ground and flake off the varnish. I never recommend commercial cleaners unless you have already found out that they work well for your instrument. Never recommend them to a friend either, you don't want to be liable for stripping your friends cello. To say, "Take your cello to a competent repairman" sounds a bit self-serving, but it's true and believe me we don't make our living off of cleaning instruments.
As far as polish in concerned, OIL IS BAD!!! Polishes that are oil-based should be avoided at all cost. If there is any part of the instrument that is not sealed by the varnish, in other words where there is just bare wood or the ground, if you apply oil to the wood it will penetrate it and then you have changed the structure of the wood. Some repairs we have done have been seriously hampered by the high level of non-drying oils present in the wood. It might make you instrument very shiny but it really is destructive to the wood. A good polish should be wax or similar-material-based. Something that simply sits on the surface and does not penetrate the wood. Also it should be easily removable. Polish should do a slight bit of protecting but shouldn't be bullet-proof so it can never be removed. We have a polish that is mostly carnuba wax, it polishes nicely if the instrument is already clean and it can be removed using some light detergents.
If this sounds a bit complicated, it isn't. Just be careful of your investment. Usually the finer the instrument the more sensetive the care. Your 66 Chevy Nova can be repaired by almost anybody, your 99 Ferrari Testarosa need to be fixed by a specialist.
>> Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies Report
Well, WE SURVIVED!
It has been an interesting, memorable week, to be sure, and it is actually not over for us yet. The Utah Symphony, in addition to the Opening Ceremonies, is playing a pops concert tomorrow night with Audra McDonald as soloist. She is great in her vocal stylings of Duke Ellington!
Meanwhile, back to the Olympics. When it first came up that the IOC wanted the USO to participate in the Opening Ceremonies, we were all thinking, "Yeah, sure, where is Alan Funt and the Candid Camera!" But they were serious, and our management agreed to do it, raising about $350,000 to cover costs of all the necessary pre-recording for the event. We were provided with school quality instruments so we wouldn't have to subject our own to the hazards of being outdoors in the middle of winter. (The donated instruments from Southwest Strings will now be given to local school string programs. The winds/brass/percussion were borrowed school instruments.)
The biggest problem facing us was to keep warm. We were originally told we would be provided with warm Olympic logo jackets, which we thought would be pretty cool. What we ended up with were beige acrylic cable knit sweaters, with cream colored dickies, scarves and hats, plus black polar fleece gloves. We also were given silk longjohns. The rest of the clothing we had to provide ourselves. The sweaters were oversized to allow for multiple layers of clothing underneath. When adding a couple polar fleece tops and a down vest, I felt like the Michelin Man or Stay Puff Marshmellow Man from Ghostbusters.
Then it came time to test the show in the stadium. All participants had to be bussed to the stadium, so we all boarded busses at 3:00 for the 7:00 rehearsal on Monday night. Food was provided for us, although not a hot meal. But edible. Then we went to our places. We were seated in a "big band" style seating. Each pair of musicians were supposed to have a heater to help keep us warm. On Monday, the heaters and the stand lights were in place, but had NO electricity connected! It was about 15 degrees F and although most of us had enough clothing on to handle the torso area, it was the hands and feet that suffered. We had small hand warmers which helped significantly when placed in the palm of the hand inside the gloves, but they didn't really help the fingers. Most of us bailed for periods of time to go warm our hands and feet, and as we had no lights function, even trying to mime to our pre-recorded tracks was nearly impossible. We did get a look at the show, which was exciting. After the show, it was decided to change the footwear policy from black shoes to ANYTHING that keeps your feet warm! My Sorels with "smartwool socks" worked great the next two runthroughs!
On Wednesday, we had the dress rehearsal, complete with invited audience (consisting of family and friends of the performers). We also had our first experience with check-in security! For some inexplicible reason, we were bussed to the lines for general spectator check-in and the process took significantly longer than it should have.
Once inside, we found that the heaters and lights were functioning. However, the heater that was located next to me on Monday night was gone, and I ended up trying to stay functional for the show, which lasted longer than Monday's, with temperatures still in the mid-teens. I tried to play one chart with my fingerless gloves, and quickly decided it was a BAD IDEA! I played the rest of the show with my leather gloves on, plus hand warmers, and survived the rest of the evening.
Tonight's show, like Wednesday's, followed morning rehearsals for our concert tomorrow, making for a very long day (the shuttle busses which have been arranged for us to avoid parking problems downtown, left at 9:15 this morning for an 11:00 rehearsal and arrived back at the drop-off point just before 11:00 tonight!) At least we got to go through the participants check-in this afternoon, which was a bit smoother. Once in, I went to the orchestra position and discovered I had a heater! YES, it was back, and working!
We went out about 6:30 and got set up, and watched the audience go through their participation routines: colored cards, flashlights, and "the wave." It was really neat! Then Daniel Rodriguiz, of the NYPD, sang God Bless America. He had sung several times before World Series games, and has a magnificent baritone voice. It was a stirring moment!
Now it is 7:00, and it is showtime! It really was exciting to be there. The temperature was a bit milder than the past couple days, althought the breezes threatened to make it feel colder at times. The roar of the crowd, as the jumbo TV screens showed the final countdown to the start, was deafening. Then it was lights, cameras, and action! A very touching moment came very early on with the entrance of the torn American flag from the World Trade Center. Then, on through the first of the music/skating portions. Then came the entrance of the athletes themselves. With the orchestra seated right down in front, the contingents of athletes passed right next to us, to their seats up in back of us. We all waved and talked to many of them as they passed by, also having our pictures taken by their still and video cameras. I received two momentos from athletes. When the Canadian team came by, they were held up for a bit and I asked a gal where she was from and she said Toronto, and I told her I had lived in Edmonton for 3 years. She then handed me a Canadian Olympic pin to wear on my sweater, which I did for the rest of the show. When the Americans came by, I received a small American flag, which I placed on my music stand. I will treasure both items!
Even though we were playing to the pre-recorded tracks, it was quite a thrill to play some of the exciting music (especially the new John Williams piece, "Call of the Champions") and feel the excitement and energy of the crowd! Seeing the great Olympians bring in the torch, then pass the flame to the 1980 Hockey Team to actually light the cauldron was especially thrilling. Oh, yes, Yo Yo was there, too! He was seated while we were still playing, but afterwards, after his mobile platform was moved back to its "dock" in front of us, he waved enthusiastically to all of us, especially to his friends in the cello section! His contributions in the song with Sting were beautiful, very free and jazz-like counterpoint. He was playing on a Utah made Montagnana-model new cello, according to reports. No knowledge of who the maker is. Obviously we missed much of the action because we were busy "playing." I am looking forward to sitting down and watching the taped show from the warmth and comfort of my easy chair in my family room.
All in all, it has been a very memorable experience. A lot of hassle and discomfort, but also a lot of thrilling moments, and an experience we will all remember for a long time to come. I would also guess that the orchestra will not complain so much about the temperature at our outdoor concerts next summer! I just hope the management doesn't book us on an Alaskan tour by dogsled!
Now it is back to semi-normal. At least the next series of concerts are indoors, with regular concert wear. In addition to Audra McDonald tomorrow, Itzak Perlman will be here next Tuesday to play and conduct (Mozart Violin Concerto #3, Jupiter Symphony, and Tchaikovsky #4. British musical theater star, Elaine Page, will be with us for a weekend pair of concerts.
1. Dimitry Markevitch Passes Away
"I am sad to report that our colleague Dimitry Markevitch died at the age of 79, on January 29, 2002. Dimitry was a great friend of the cello, its repertoire, history, and he explored in depth important aspects of performance and teaching. His many articles, recordings, and editions are well known. His edition of the Bach Suites is now in its fourth printing, and arrangements of works by Beethoven, Moussorgsky, de Falla, Stravinsky and Shostakovitch have been published by major publishers. Markevitch was first to present all of the Suites in concert at Carnegie Hall, and to great acclaim.
"Markevitch wrote two books of great interests to cellists: CELLO STORY (history, repertoire, and performers) and THE SOLO CELLO (the surprisingly large unaccompanied literature). He amassed one of the world's greatest collections of works for cello (about 3000), which is now housed at the Geneva Conservatory, Switzerland. Markevitch has recorded many standard works (Bach Suites, Beethoven Sonatas including Opp.17, 64 and Czerny's transcription of the Kreutzer Sonata), and many other rare and forgotten works he discovered.
"Markevitch was an early pupil of Piatigorsky and performed with many important orchestras. For several years he was a member of the New York Philharmonic. His older brother was the very well known conductor and composer, Igor Markevitch."
Dimitry Markevitch's ICS Interview
2. Truls Mørk Honored Twice
Truls Mørk just won a Grammy for his recording of the Britten Solo Cello Suites. He was also given a Cannes Classical Award at the MIDEM music fair for this same recording. (Guido Larisch's disc of the Beethoven Cello Sonatas was also awarded the 19th Century Instrumentalist Prize at the MIDEM music fair.)
3. Bowed Arts
Those of you in the United States who wish to purchase the book on Bernard Greenhouse called "Bowed Arts," which was reviewed in our last newsletter, may save on shipping costs by sending $21 to the following address:
78 Bellhaven Road
Bellport, NY 11713
or email a request to email@example.com.
4. James Kreger CD Release
James Kreger has released a new CD of the Dvorak and Herbert Concerti, as well as Dvorak "Silent Woods." For more information, go to:
5. Lecture on Suggia
The Juilliard School will host a forum on Guilhermina Suggia on April 4. Featured speakers are Anita Mercier, Juilliard Professor of Humanities; Fatima Pombo, author of Guilhermina Suggia or the Luxuriant Violoncello, and Robert Baldock, author of Pablo Casals. The forum will also feature rare recordings of Suggia playing and a live performance of a work dedicated to Suggia and Casals: Donald Tovey's Sonata for Two Cellos. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. International Summer Music Academy -- Leipzig, Germany
The International Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany, will take place July 19-August 8, 2002. This comprehensive music academy will be presented by the Hochschuele fuer Musik, Leipzig and the Juilliard School, New York. Intensive instrumental study, chamber music, master classes, workshops, excursions. Public student performances in major halls (Gewandhaus). Cello instructor, Christian Giger (Solo Cellist, Gewandhaus Orchestra); Chamber Music, Bruce Brubaker (Juilliard School), Stephen Clapp (Juilliard School), Tatjana Masurenko (Leipzig Hochschule). Workshop on baroque cello techniques in the 21st century by Siegfried Pank. English spoken.
Cost: $900, including all study and housing. Some scholarship assistance possible.
For more information contact email@example.com.
7. Ruth Phillips Study Weekend
Ruth Phillips, author of "The Breathing Bow for Cellists" in this issue, will be conducting a workshop May 17-May 19 in Seaford, Sussex. For more information, go to:
8. A Starbucks Yo-Yo CD
Sony and Starbucks have teamed up to produce a CD called, Yo-Yo Ma: music that matters to him. He based his selections, for the most part, on people which whom he has had some sort of personal connection. Performers include: Casals, Brubeck, Piaf, Grumiaux, McFerrin, Piazzola, O'Connor and Meyer, Fleisher, Wunderlich, Grappelli, Juilliard String Quartet, Stern, Rose, and Gould.
9. Prize Winners
Julie Albers, student of Richard Aaron, won second prize in the cello division of the 50th ARD International Musical Competition in Munich. She was also grand prize winner at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians, sponsored by France's Orchestre Symphonique de Douai.
The New Directions Cello Festival
The New Directions Cello Festival will take place May 31-June 2, 2002 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. www.newdirectionscell.com.
The Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann -- The First International Cello Competition will take place November 17-22, 2002 in Berlin. http://www.gp-emanuelfeuermann.de.
The 6th Cello Festival in Kronberg, Germany will be a memorial to Pablo Casals, starting on the 30th anniversary of his death. The dates are October 22-26, 2003. http://www.kronbergacademy.de .
Manchester International Cello Festival
The next Manchester (U.K.) International Cello Festival has been advertised for May 2004. In future this event will take place every three years instead of every other year.
World Cello Congress IV
Plan ahead! World Cello Congress IV will take place May/June 2006 at Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland. Cello Congress V is also listed on their website - May/June 2010! (There are also rumors that World Cello Congress IV will take place in 2003 in Israel. If anyone knows, could they contact me?) Also promised is a "Gala Benefit Performance" in 2003 to raise funds for WCC4. "Many of the greatest stars of the music world will join forces to present a one-of-a-kind event not to be missed." Concerts, recitals, masterclasses, workshops, symposia, exhibits, receptions. http://www.towson.edu/worldmusiccongresses.
For those who attended World Cello Congress III, videos are now available at $30 (includes shipping): http://www.towson.edu/worldmusiccongresses/video.html.
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3. The Cello Side
4. Cello Master
6. Marin Marais
8. Schumann Cello Concerto
9. George Neikrug
10. Ernest Bloch
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