Posted by Charles Brooks on May 11, 1999 at 22:18:48:
In Reply to: Re: Was this cellist serious or kidding when he made that comment?nt posted by BA on May 10, 1999 at 23:31:47:
I have a large collection of recordings from all these cellists (particularly Casals and Piatigorsky) although I don't think my original post was clear.
At the risk of offending a large number of people I will sum up my views on "old" and "new" schools of cello technique. Please remember that these are just my own oppinions.
I greatly respect and admire the recordings of Rostropovich (I have yet to see him live). His earlier work pioneered a new direction for the cello with his tremendous volume (based on what I've read from Greenhouse - that Rostropovich has reached the limits of where we can go in terms of volume), incredible accuracy, masterful interpretations - particularly of the modern works of the time (Shostakowich etc.) etc etc etc
However - I believe that, although he is still producing beautiful recordings, the direction that the sound of the cello is moving in has changed somewhat. What may have been new and exciting to the listners of Rostropovich in his hey day is now considered old hat. Although I greatly admire Rostropovich I do not think that his style is improving the sound or status of the cello as a solo instrument. He is the absolute master of an era which I believe to have passed.
I realise that Yo yo Ma has learnt a lot from Rostropovich but I belive he has also moved on and expanded upon Rostropovich's approach (doesn't any generation learn and attempt to improve upon the teacings of the past?). I believe the sound of Yoyo Ma and Isserlis (although I realise that they are VERY different players) to be more refined and poetic - a sound that you have to listen to intently to to pick up the nuances rather than one which attempts to throw them at you (although both practices are perfectly relevant I prefer the former). I also believe that in time Yo yo Ma's recordings will be considered old fashioned and that new cellists of a younger generation, who will owe much to this generation, will take that sound and in their own way add to it - perhaps they will "revert" back to the sound of Rostropovich's era or move in a yet unexplored direction - who knows?
But for the moment the direction in with I believe Ma and Isserlis are moving is the one I most enjoy listening to and the one that I hope my own playing will aspire to.
Also by describing their sound as "clean" I did not mean just "in tune and in time" - I think you will find that Rostropovich is perfectly in tune(!) and in time to his own interpretations of the music. I suppose I meant that a lot of the slides and styles of vibrato etc. used by Rostropovich and his contempoaries have been re-examined and often removed. I simply find this refreshing and wish to know more about how I can apply this kind of methodology to my own playing.
I hope I haven't offended anyone and that this clears up my original posting!
: To the original poster- have you ever heard Piatigorsky, Casals, Feuermann or other cellists of this era?
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