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Archive for the ‘Philosophy, Ideas, Questions, Misc’ Category

For the final Cello Talk I went to Jordan Hall in Boston’s New England Conservatory to let you hear the difference between French and Belgian bridges, and between three different A strings. Cameras on the stage and balcony captured sound close up, and distant – which is so much of what really counts.

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It seems to me that what I’ve posted in this series makes up a School of Cello Playing. Here, I argue my case.

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Musical atmosphere is as important as the music itself. Every piece music creates its own feeling in the room, and it’s our responsibility as performers to ensure that music’s magic reaches our audiences as powerfully as possible.

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Musical knowledge certainly encompasses instrumental technique and the music itself, but knowledge of history, cultures, styles, composers’ lives and related subjects is just as important, if not in some cases more so.

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In an earlier Talk I spoke of the importance of breaking your routines, so as not to become dependent upon them. In this Talk I tell a story from a Rostropovich class many years ago that made a lasting impression on me, and I also make recommendations of ways to practice that will help prepare you for the unexpected.

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Here’s how I would use four minutes to practice a tricky passage.

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So many have written with great questions prompted by the Cello Talks that it’s time for me to respond again. I hope my suggestions are helpful, and thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement you’ve given me.

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