Starting a Regular Blog

So far on Cello Journey I stick to posting news and episodes on the main page. I thought of having a separate Blog tab (up at the top) where I will post more regularly. Sometimes a few weeks goes by between episodes and I would like to communicate better with everyone.

A new episode is in the works. It the Tarantella by Squire. We will try to record it next week. I used to play this piece quite a bit when I was first starting the cello. It has great melodies, double-stops, and a good overall feel. It is very rewarding to play when you are learning the cello because it sounds so good.

Cello Journey #28, Haydn Concerto in C, 1st Movement

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In this episode we play the cello concerto in C Major by Joseph Haydn. We decided to play it with organ since it sounds more like an orchestra and it makes a nice match. We are playing in a wonderful church called Mountainview United Church. We hope you enjoy it.

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year! I hope you get to spend time with family and have a bit of a break. May all your wishes come true. See you in January.


Cello Journey CD

We are excited to release the first Cello Journey CD. You can buy it at CD Baby starting today. Thank you in advance to everyone that buys it.

Click for more info:

CELLO JOURNEY: Music For Cello And Piano

Cello Journey #27, Kol Nidrei

YouTube Part 1
YouTube Part 2
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In this episode we play the Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch. This piece is based on a Jewish prayer recited in the synagogue at the beginning of the evening service on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. You can find out more information at the following link:

Cello Journey #26, Faure Sicilienne

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In this episode we play the Sicilienne by the French composer Gabriel Faure. I recently went on a trip to Quebec and had a chance to eat some great French meals. As a result, I did a bit of French cooking myself. I noticed that the common theme in this type of cooking is how ingredients tend to fit well together. A sauce will fit everything else that is on the plate. Flavors and textures go in and out of each other to create a greater whole. This piece is similar in that its melodies fade in and out of each other. Harmonies, colors and textures blend well together and undergo subtle changes. I hope you can sense that in the music.

Cello Journey #25, Beethoven Variations

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In this episode we play the variations by Ludwig van Beethoven on a theme by Mozart, “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen”. This is based on a theme from the opera The Magic Flute originally sung by a soprano and a baritone in a duet. Musicians in Beethoven’s time were very adept at playing and improvising variations. They could even improvise on a melody or favorite tune given to them by a member of the audience. Beethoven wrote many variations for piano solo and many variations for cello and piano. We hope you enjoy it.

Cello Journey #24, Schumann Fantasiestucke No.1

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In this episode we play the first of three Fantasiestucke (Fantasy Pieces) by Robert Schumann. This piece was originally written for clarinet and piano but I think it sounds good on the cello. Schumann often wrote sets of miniatures that each have their own mood. In this one there is some tension between triplets (three notes per beat) in the piano and duplets (two notes per beat) in melodies in both the cello and piano. This adds unrest to this emotional and romantic piece. We hope you enjoy it.

Upcoming Episode

On Monday the next episode will be released. It is the first of the Fantasy Pieces by Robert Schumann. Ross and I recorded it today. Please stay tuned.

Rostropovich Remembered

Recently we saw the passing of Mstislav Rostropovich. He was a famous Russian cellist, pianist and conductor. You may have seen something on the news. I am deeply saddened. It will take me a while to sort out my thoughts and feelings. I could probably write several pages about Rostropovich. There was some wonderful music written for the cello thanks to Rostropovich and composers that wrote for him.

Rostropovich was a bit before my time with the cello. I did not have an occasion to hear him play live. He cut back on performing on the cello over the years due to his age. I remember when I was young I was very inspired by his playing and it is one of the reasons I became a cellist. His recording of the Rococo Variations by Tchaikovsky had a big impact on me when I was starting the cello.

He had an incredible ability to play with a sustained rich sound. His playing was remarkably clear. He made the cello sound very easy to play. He may have influenced what people expect to hear from a cello forever. It seems sometimes that he did not play the cello, but an instrument like the cello except with fewer limitations and additional qualities.

I think there is a great deal to learn from him and his playing. For years cellists will continue to listen and watch his playing on recordings to discover what is possible on the cello.

There are two things I wanted to mention about Rostropovich. Often I am driving in my car and I listen to the radio and think to myself “What a wonderful cellist? Who is that?” Then I almost always hear that it is Rostropovich. Another thing is that you can put his playing on for just 2 or 3 notes and I can usually already recognize it.

Rostropovich will be dearly missed and my thoughts on him will continue to develop over the years. I hope that we will not forget him and continue to learn from him.