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cello confabulations of tintinnabulation

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September 10th, 2011

10:14 pm

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May 29th, 2011

10:34 am - Folks may have already seen this, but if not...

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April 20th, 2011

05:42 pm - Unmarked Bach suites
Hi everyone! I'm curious if there's somewhere I can find a completely unmarked edition of the Bach suites (no fingerings *or* bowings). I have a number of editions and I'd like to compile the bowings and fingerings I like from each of them, but the closest I've been able to find is one that has the AM bowings marked in. If there's a blank edition out there (ideally online, especially if it's free) I'd be delighted if somebody could point me in the right direction. Thanks!

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April 13th, 2011

10:48 am

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April 11th, 2011

09:38 pm

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February 9th, 2011

10:01 pm - Conquering Performance Anxiety.
Hi everyone, I'm learning the cello as an adult and I'm just posting here to see if anybody has any hints on conquering performance anxiety, specifically in a lesson scenario. Crazy, I know, to be getting performance anxiety in a lesson but I'm reaching the end of my tether.

Here's what's currently happening: I've been working on a piece for what feels like forever. I'm playing it fine in the privacy of my own home. This is not just my imagination; I have actually recorded myself playing and it sounds, even to my own very self-critical ear, fine. No intonation problems, dynamics all in place, tempo appropriate, etc. It's not perfect, and it won't be at my level, but I'm happy with it all the same. Then I go to the lesson, my teacher and I go through the usual series of scales, exercises, etc with varying degrees of success and then we get to the piece. Only a few bars in, we get to the "difficult" shift (I'm expecting to fail because I've failed so often with this piece in lessons lately) and -- bam -- it all falls apart. Intonation disappears, I start to speed up, I even start forgetting the music! My teacher, patient and lovely man that he is, usually lets me stop at this point in the train wreck. We work on the difficult shift for what feels like the millionth time (and I'm wondering why we're bothering as I know that as soon as I get home, that shift is going to be fine again) and after we keep working on other aspects of the piece for 15-20 more minutes, he tells me that it's almost there and we should be able to move on from it next week -- which, inevitably, doesn't happen because the next week I get struck with the horrible performance anxiety again and the whole cycle repeats itself.

What's even weirder, though, is that this doesn't happen for every piece I work on. This is only the second piece that has "defeated" me in a performance anxiety way. The other piece, co-incidentally, was also an 18th century piece. Whenever we work on something romantic or 20th century all of the anxiety goes away. For example, when I played the previous piece I was working on for him (a romantic piece) I was able to just shut my eyes, focus on the tone I was drawing, try to get across the emotion of the piece, and what do you know? No performance anxiety. No forgotten music. No train wreck. Teacher was happy.

Does anybody have any advice? I told my teacher last week that it sounds fine at home and I'm not sure why it falls apart in lessons. He said that he can tell I'm tense when I play it and I need to stop "panicking", but I think we're both at a bit of a loss with a real solution to the problem. I'm half tempted to take a recording with me to my next lesson just to prove to him that I'm telling the truth and hope that he'll let me off the hook! Of course, I know that's a cop out and I'd honestly much rather just conquer the anxiety so that I don't have to even think like that.

Anyway, if anybody has any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

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January 19th, 2011

08:19 pm - Suite 3 Prelude bowings
Hello all. I'm curious what bowings you folks have used for the accursed bariolage in the Suite 3 Prelude. I've been working on the third suite for a few months, and it seems that no matter how often and how meticulously I practice the bariolage it's still not good, and I'm wondering if changing up the bowing might help a bit. I've been using the bowing of slurring 4 notes, changing the direction of the bow each time it hits the A string. Seems to be the most popular bowing, but I'm wondering if anyone has found something that works better for them. And, of course, any tips on the bariolage generally are much appreciated. Thanks!

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November 11th, 2010

10:57 pm - Ahhh Mozart, why doth thou forsake the cellist?
So the title's a bit of a dramatisation, but it is known that Mozart never wrote a concerto for the cello.

I came across a transcription of the Flute Concerto in D Major but it doesn't really give the music much justice just to transpose it down an octave, since the timbres of the flute and cello are largely different especially in their relative registers.

My flautist friend suggested to me the Bassoon Concerto, and I've been playing it through with some earnest. Naturally the bowings are a little tricky, but fingering isn't a problem at all.

I was wondering if you guys knew of any other 'attempts' by others to transcribe some of Mozart's concerti repertoire for the cello (or something of that standard - not like simple tunes that could easily be arranged for a ton of different instruments).

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August 19th, 2010

08:27 pm - need a boston-area luthier
I haven't been to a luthier in a very long time.

I bought my cello from Johnson Strings in Newton a few years ago, and I will go back there if I need to, but it's not a very T-friendly location... especially if I have a cello strapped to my back!

I need to have my bridge unwarped and two open seams sealed. Are there any luthiers that you can recommend that are easy to get to by T? Even better if they are not crazy expensive.

I know of Rutman's, and someone suggested Ken Meyer near Newton Center T and Reuning & Sons near Back Bay T over on b0st0n.

Has anyone gone to South End Strings in Boston? What about Leslie Moye String Instrument Repair in Somerville (I'm especially interested in Leslie Moye as that's the closest location for me to get to)


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July 27th, 2010

02:05 am - Sheet music with playalong
 I haven't played my cello for a year or so and I'm looking to get back into playing regularly, maybe join an orchestra.

I'm looking for some sites which will allow me to download sheet music and play-along music files. Free would be best, but I don't mind paying if they come recommended. I've had a google and there seem to be loads, so I'd be really interested in hearing of any that you guys use. 

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