There’s simply nothing more fun than playing cello ensemble music. The cello’s range is vast — bigger than those of the other members of the bowed strings family — and when you get a bunch of cellists together, you can have the highest and lowest voices of an ensemble at the same time as that glorious all-cello tone.
Just as there are a lot of different ways to be a cellist, there are a lot of different ways to play Bach’s Cello Suites. I’m often asked what I think is the best edition of the Cello Suites, and there’s no clear answer. How do you decide, when at last count there were more than 100 editions to choose from?
Bored, lonely, anxious, and panicking in self-isolation? Yeah, me too. I wish I could go all “silver lining” about the pandemic of 2020, but I can’t really think of one. This is just rough, and that’s all there is to it.
That said, one of my favourite sayings keeps coming into my head. “You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control how you respond to them.” What would happen if we replaced “other people’s actions” with “the current horrifying crisis”? Whether we like it or not, we currently have an opportunity for reflection, self-study, and study in general. So…
We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and it’s uncharted territory for all of us. What will we do if we can’t work or go out? We musicians are panicking over cancelled concerts, plane tickets we already paid for, and lost sources of income that we were counting on.
Most of us in the music business have multiple streams of income, so it’s now more important than ever to keep our teaching businesses up and running.
Like many academic types, I have to read so much for research that I often run out of time for reading for pleasure. It isn’t just that I miss reading, I also miss being informed about subjects other than music. So this year, I decided I was going to make time for reading non-music books.