Hommage to Gaspar Cassadó

Gaspar Cassadó has been my favorite cellist-composer for half of my life now. His music provides variety and imagination. His arrangements are especially well-crafted. As someone who arranges music almost daily, I look up to Cassadó for inspiration. Although the…

Critical Notes Series: Klengel's Concertino No. 1, Op. 7

For this Installment of "Critical Notes Series," I would like to introduce my newest, long-awaited orchestration of Klengel's Concertino No. 1 for cello and orchestra. Klengel never orchestrated this work, leaving it for cello and piano, as with the other…

Critical Notes Series: Kabalevsky's Cello Concerto No. 2

What an amazing work! Hearing just the first and last bars of the piece should inspire the listener to want to hear the entire concerto. The only thing standing in the way of its popularity is the lack of a…

Critical Notes Series: Bloch's Schelomo

I am starting a new series to give insight about common mistakes found in editions, as well as to point out common performance practice of works for cello. Because there is so much information written on the subject concerning works…

Listening to Your Own Playing

For over a decade, I've been listening to my own practicing and recording sessions. I've covered the mics, recorders, and other gear in previous posts. In this post I would like to cover the output source, specifically the headphones.

My…

Introducing Sándor Jemnitz's Solo Cello Sonata

When talking about Hungarian cello music, Zoltán Kodály and György Ligeti come up immediately, and rightfully so. These two composers built monumental and lasting careers, even postmortem. Sándor (Alexander) Jemnitz (1890-1963) was a famous composer and critic of Kodály's generation…

Victoria Yagling: Cello Suite No. 1

At one point a major force in the Soviet musical world, cellist-composer Victoria Yagling (1946-2011) is completely forgotten by the general public of the Russian-speaking vestige of the USSR. Yagling came from a family of award-winning artists and academics. Her…

Does The Preamp Matter?

We've done a mic shootout, but what about the preamp? Does the preamp matter? A preamp is a device that brings up the level of the mic signal to a level that will that is appropriate for recording. For this…

Introducing Jerzy Fitelberg's Cello Sonata 

Jerzy Fitelberg (1903-1951) was a Polish-Jewish composer who was naturalized as an American citizen in 1937. His father was the famous conductor Grzerorz Fitelberg. Jerzy wrote his Unaccompanied Cello Sonata in 1945. The Sonata was premiered by Stefan Auber on…

Bach Cello Suite No. 4 - High-end Mic Shootout

Last week I got to test the hall where I will be playing my Bach marathon in just 32 days. I am trying to see which configuration to use for the recital. I used 3 mics for the test: a…

Microphones: An Audible Difference?

As a followup to my post about strings, I would like to do a quick mic shootout between my old Zoom H4 handy recorder in MP3 format and a pair of DPA omni-directional mics. Both recordings were made at the…