Cello News of the Day

Yo-Yo Ma talks to the Boston Globe’s Jeremy Eichler about his Montagnana.

Alban Gerhadt (who has a terrific website) remembers being told by his quartet coach to “Go home and take a shower!” after a not-so-hot quartet concert in his student days. He goes on to make some very insightful comments on developing (or not) interpretive ideas.

I had a very interesting discussion with the students in front of my dressing room; we talked about interpretations and me being annoyed with realizing that most young players don’t manage to come up with anything on their own but just being far too heavily influenced by the known recordings. . . . told them that I don’t listen to recordings at all anymore, and very rarely to other cellists, just because I don’t have much chance to hear them – yes, I love going to concerts, but very rarely I have the chance to hear a fellow cellist. And one student asked me if I thought that I wasn’t being a bit closed-minded. She believed I should listen to other cellists to know what is going on, to maybe get inspired, new ideas etc. She had a very good point, I thought, and actually whenever I heard somebody, I took something from it, either how to do or how not to do it. But at the end of the day you can learn that from any performer, and for a cellist I think it is m ore inspiring to listen to singers, or, at the end of the day, just a great musician, never mind the instrument. And to listen to the great musician not to copy what he is doing, but to understand what and why he is doing it – which I find easier with music I am not playing.

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