Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wispelwey coming to London

My friend Erin from Fugue State has informed me about an upcoming Wispelwey concert:

Pieter Wispelwey’s upcoming concert at Royal Festival Hall

Budapest Festival Orchestra
Ivan Fischer conductor
Pieter Wispelwey cello

Pieter Wispelwey performs the beautiful Dvorak Cello Concerto in a programme including other Dvorak works such as Legend in B flat minor and Stravinsky’s magical Firebird Suite.

Here’s the link:

Thanks To Erin for the heads up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A new hero for the cello

By Norman Lebrecht / April 23, 2008

A year after his death, the hole left by Mstislav Rostropovich at the heart of the cello shows no sign of healing. Two giants dominated the instrument throughout the 20th century and endowed it with moral purpose, to the point where the cello became the recognised voice of humanity.

The Catalan Pablo Casals resisted fascism to his last breath, refusing to revisit his homeland so long as General Franco was alive. The Russian, known to everyone as Slava, spoke out for human rights in the Soviet Union and, in exile, spoke out even louder. His death last April, mourned worldwide, left the cello leaderless.

Of the contenders Yo Yo Ma, famous for film scores and east-west fusions, is too busy being a record label cash register to take a stand on anything important. The exquisite French line of Fournier and Tortelier has dried up. None of a host of swaying blonde manes has revealed a new Jacqueline du Pre and none of Slava’s many pupils has spoken out on Darfur or climate change. The classical cello has gone into personality deficit. In a celebrity-driven culture, an art without a visible figurehead risks media oblivion.

I put this thought the other day to Steven Isserlis, the quirky, curly British cellist who countered that maybe the cello needs a different set of values these days, less lofty and heroic, more practical and domestic. Isserlis, 50 this year, is an engaging mix of English inhibition and artistic swagger, self-deprecation and acute self-awareness. The linchpin of a circle of soloists who work together wherever they can, he runs his own chamber music series at London’s Wigmore Hall and Frankfurt’s Alte Oper and is among the first five names out of the hat when an orchestra books the big cello concertos. Yet far from enjoying a jet-set lifestyle, he detests a system that keeps him in transit eight months of the year. At the same time, he can’t resist it. Unlike the giants, cellists nowadays have to do what they are told in a state of aggravated insecurity.

Isserlis, of Russian-Jewish descent, dropped out of one of London’s top fee-paying schools at 14, shuffled around on borrowed cellos in search of an identity and didn’t really get going until his 20s were almost gone, when a concerto he requested from John Tavener, languishing at the time in career doldrums, raised the rafters at the BBC Proms. ‘I never thought it would get a second performance,’ laughs the soloist.

The Protecting Veil relaunched Tavener as a post-religious guru and Isserlis as a mystic-looking interpreter in a head of ringlets that could have been recast from one of Bach’s wigs. Successful as he has become, the late-starter in him cannot turn down work. He carries his cello through nightmare airports onto flights, often late, where he pays two full economy fares and is treated like a quarantined animal. ‘British Airways are the worst,’ he mutters. ‘Never an apology, no matter how awful they are.’

He led a campaign two years ago against UK security rules that banned instruments, but not laptops, from aircraft cabins. He earned a plug in the conductor’s speech in the Last Night of the Proms and the restraints were eased, without obvious harm to public safety. But it seemed a petty matter to raise at the most public moment in the musical calendar, trivial beside the great freedom causes of Slava and Casals. ‘Isn’t the solution to fly less?’ I suggest to him. ‘Play at home more. Save some ozone.’

‘Can’t afford it,’ he shrugs, in a flurry of steel-coloured curls. The mortgage on his 1740 Montagnaga is merged with the one on his home in West Hampstead, and he is still years from paying them off. ‘I’ve promised Pauline to cut back flying,’ he sighs; from time to time he takes his wife on long-haul tours. His other cello is a Stradivarius on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation in Japan.

It is tougher to be a cellist these days – more grunge travel (Slava flew first-class), less respect, less opportunity for experiment: ‘I’m surprised when an orchestra asks what I’d like to play instead of saying Maestro X has put Schumann, Dvorak, Elgar or Shostakovich on the schedule,’ says Isserlis. He tries to keep the warhorses fresh – no more than three outings this year for the Elgar (which he plays next week at the Royal Festival Hall) – but he cannot suppress the greater excitement of taking the Walton concerto to Beijing and Shanghai in the autumn. ‘I love that work, never get to do it enough.’

A Slava tribute box just arrived from Warner Classics reminds me of extraordinary concertos by Penderecki, Landowski, Schchedrin and Knaifel that lie unheard since his death, along with most of the 270 works he commissioned. ‘Slava was superman,’ says Isserlis, but the giant is gone and lesser mortals need to look to the goals within their grasp. ‘It’s not just about playing the cello,’ he insists.

One of his favourite gigs is a children’s series that he runs at the 92nd Street Y in New York, a place where kids of all ages drop in to hear Isserlis and such chums as Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk, teach, play and tell jokes. He has published two light-hearted lives of composers for children and his Wigmore Hall/Alte Oper series is a seasonal fulcrum of musical concentration. In Cornwall each summer, at Prussia Cove, he gives seminars on the values of friendship and conversation, the bedrock of chamber music.

‘Every time I go to a boring classical concert I feel so angry,’ he says. ‘It reinforces people’s clichéd and inaccurate view of what we do.’

So what’s the solution? ‘Play better. If you play better, people will listen better. If they listen, they will feel better.’

This is a different brand of idealism from the grand humanitarian gestures of Slava and Casals. It is an understanding that the world advances in small steps, by showing a child what a C major chord is made of and a young musician what it can express. Steven Isserlis may well be right: the age of giants is over. What lies ahead is something more educative, more intimate and, for our time, decidedly more appropriate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Erik Anderson - Piatti Caprice No. 1

Anner Bylsma - Bach C maj - Gigue

Gigue from the C maj Suite with (the closest to the) original bowings, according to Anner Bylsma using the Anna Magdalena bowings

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jian Wang - Dvorak Cello Concerto

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony of Venezuela in Dvorák's Cello Concerto with Chinese Cellist Jian Wang

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Free Cello Sheet Music

Cello Solo

Argent, Mark

  • Hymnus for Solo Cello part

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Belcastro, Luca

Blumenthaler, Volker

Bresnahan, Christo

Hans-Jürgen von Bose


Cossmann, Bernhard (1822-1910)


Demoivre, Daniel

Dotzauer, ,J. J. F.

Eck, Hans van

Francesoni, Gino


Haldenberg, Franz


Hunkins, Arthur B.

Janof, Tim

Kauder, Hugo

  • Kleine Suite for Unaccompanied Cello (1925) cello solo part
  • Second Suite for Unaccompanied Cello (1924) score

Khachaturian A.

Kodaly, Zoltan

Lee, Sebastian

Ligeti, Gyorgy

Livon, Roberto

Münzer, Holger

Saleski, Gdal (1888- )

  • Petite suite in ancient style for Cello Solo, Op.7 (1920) cello part


Summer, Mark


The Art of the Bow (for cello solo)


Vactor, David Van

Villanueva, Facundo


Viola, Leo

Wissing, Norbert

*Musica for violoncello solo

Wolfram, Mark E.

Cello and Piano



Arzoumanov, Valery

Bach, C.P.E.

Bach, J.C.

Bach, Johann Sebastian

3 Sonatas for Viola da Gamba (cello) and Harpsichord

  • J.S.Bach's Complete Works (includes: 3 Flute Sonatas, 6 Violin Sonatas, 3 Sonatas for Klavier and Viola da gamba, etc) Volume 9


Ave Maria

Bachlund, Gary

Baklanova, N.

Beethoven, Ludwig V. (1770-1827)

Belcastro, Luca

Benda, M




Bobrowicz, Johann Nepomuk von

  • Grand Pot-pourri for Cello and Piano (or Guitar) Parts


Bolling, Claude


Bregato, Jose

  • Graciela y Buenos Aires, Tango for Cello and Piano cello part



Bruch, Max (1838-1920)

Casals, Pablo

Cassado, G

Castro, Washington



[vc 1] - [vc 2] - [vc 3] - [vc 4]




Dukas, Paul

Dvorak, Anton

Eck, Hans van

  • Sonata for Cello and Piano parts

Elgar, Edward

Fabricius, Jakob

  • Ballade for Cello and Piano score

Faure, G.

Field, John (1782-1837)


Giannetta, Domenico

  • Elegia for Cello and Piano score

Ginastera, Alberto

  • Pampeana No.2, Rhapsody for Cello and Piano Piano part

Glass, Louis






Haldenberg, Franz


Haydn, F.

Heise, P.

  • Fantasy Sieces for Cello and Piano. No. I-II scores

Honegger, Arthur (1892-1955)


Irish Folk Song


Kauder, Hugo

  • Sonata for Cello and Piano (1950) score
  • Sonata (1955) for Cello (or viola) and Harp score

Khachaturian (1903-1978)


Lalo, E.

  • Chants Russes - Lento du Concerto Op.29 - [score]


Lemire, Jean Baptiste (1867-1945)


Leonovich, Yury



Lloyd Webber, W.S.




Mittner, Jiri


Miaskovsky, Nikolai (1881-1950)


Neruda, Franz

Norton, Christopher


Ornstein, Leo

Peters-Rey, Gregor

Petric, Ivo



Pieroni, Uberto

Pocs, Katalin




Raff, Joachim (1822-1882)


Revutsky, L.


Romberg, Bernard

Rubinstein, Anton

Saint Saens


Satie, Erik (1866-1925)

Schnittke, A.


Schubert, Franz




Shtogarenko, A.

Shukh, Mikhail


Sokolow, Nicolas




Cello School Vol. 7

Cello part Vol 7

Piano part Vol 7

Cello School Vol. 8

piano Vol 8 part 1

  • Sammartini - Sopnata in G Major
  • Faure - Elegie Op.24

piano Vol 8 part 2

  • Faure - Elegie (continued)

Cello part Vol. 8

  • Sammartini
  • Bach - Suite No1
  • Faure - Elegie

Stankovich, Ye









Vallejo, Gabriel

  • Musica Viajera for Cello and Piano score

Varelas, Anatoly

Villa-Lobos, H.

Villanueva, Facundo

Vivaldi, Antonio

Volkmann, Robert

  • 5 Stucke, Op.21 (1. Blumenstuck) (2.Minne) (3. Brautlied) (4. Der Page) (5. Soliman) for Cello and Piano

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883)

Webern, Anton von

Wissing, Norbert

  • Sonata for Cello and Piano parts

Yarovinsky, B.

Yefimov, Igor


Zhuravitsky, V.


Cello Duets

Barriere, Jean

Boismortier, J. B. de

Bresnahan, Christo

  • Paranoic Rhapsody (a Sublimation of Liszt) for cello duet

Couperin, Francois

Grieg, Edward



Hindemith, Paul


Mozart, W. A.


Rachmaninoff, S.

Revutsky, L.

Rossini, G.

Tsintsadze, S. (1925)

3 Celli

Bellini, V.

Birgisson, Snorri Sigfus

  • Snorri Thorfinnsson's Lullaby for 3 cellos


Callender, Clifton

  • Metamorphoses Canon a 3 for solo cello and real-time computer delay or cello trio (2007) score



  • A Tear in the Mirror for 3 Cellos score


Tchaikovsky (Stubbs)

Unknown Composer

4 Celli

Bach, Johann Sebastian


Birgisson, Snorri Sigfus

*Lilja for 4 cellos

Chopin, F.

Gardel, Carlos


  • Anitras Dance (from Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Op.46) for 4 Cellos



Metallica - Apocalyptica

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Nazareth, Ernesto

Petric, Ivo

Rossini, Giocchino

Verdi, Giuseppe

Werner, Josef (1837-1922)

6 Celli

Rossini, Giocchino

8 Celli

Giannetta, Domenico


12 Celli


Cello and Orchestra



Goncharenko, V.



Kireiko, V.


Lutz, Henri

Marcello, B.

  • Adagio for Cello and String Trio (2Vln Vla) (from Concerto in C minor for Oboe) Score

Piazzolla, Astor

Rubtsov, A.

Shtogarenko, A.

Spring, Rudi



Orchestral Cello Parts



Suppe, Fr. v.

Test Pieces for Orchestral Auditions