The Visuals

The Visuals Now, maybe I’m not really the person to write this article (reason below); but I’m going to write it anyway. It was partially inspired by a question I was asked recently during an interview at the Library of Congress: ‘What do you think of the emphasis on appearance in the music world today?’ […] Read more…

Beware of emotion

Beware of emotion – well, of inappropriate emotion, anyway… (again) I know that I’ve already ranted on about the danger of pouring superfluous beauty sauce over music; but I’m returning to it, because it seems that the message I try to convey more often than any other in classes is: ‘Don’t promise us false emotions’. […] Read more…

Nerves

Nerves Most of us musicians suffer from nerves in some form, usually centred on one particular aspect of performing – memory, accuracy, or whatever. I’m suspicious, actually, of any musician who never gets nervous. Vulnerability is important for an interpreter – as is humility; and both these qualities are likely to result in nervousness before […] Read more…

Spontaneity

Spontaneity I always feel a bit guilty about not being able to reply directly to comments made about my rants; it seems rude – but if I did, I would have even less of a life than I do away from cello or computer. But I am – usually! – very grateful for the thoughts […] Read more…

The importance/dangers of Urtext editions

At the moment, I am reworking three of the Bach suites. This inevitably involves continuing detective work, trying to piece together Bach’s intentions from the sources we have. Read more…

The Magic of Schumann (again)

I have just spent my annual week at the Open Chamber Music session of IMS Prussia Cove, down in Cornwall. It is lovely (in an intense sort of way) to be surrounded by great chamber music for every waking hour. Read more…

The Dangers of Recordings – from another angle

Many people, including myself, have written on the dangers of recordings – how they superimpose interpretations on impressionable ears, make one performer’s eccentricities standard, etc. But there’s one danger that has perhaps been overlooked Read more…

Seeing with different eyes…

Later this month, I am to record CPE Bach’s wonderful concerto in A major, which exists in versions for cello, flute or keyboard. The absolute glory of the work is its deeply moving slow movement, a tragic aria marked to be played Largo e mesto (slowly and sadly). Read more…

A non-musical (but intriguing, I think) story…

A couple of years ago I wrote a short piece about my wonderful friend Archie Campbell-Murdoch, on the occasion of his 103rd birthday. Read more…

Harpo (and me/I)

(Warning: This article may be chiefly of interest to fellow Marx Brothers fanatics…)
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