Critical Notes Series: Weber's Grand Potpourri

Often, when looking for the first "real" concerto to give to our students, we go to the list that includes Haydn C, Saint-Saëns 1, Lalo, and Boccherini-Grützmacher. I would like to present to you Carl Maria von Weber's Grand Potpourri…

Critical Notes Series: Barber's Cello Concerto

Undoubtedly, Barber's concerto is one of the greatest of the 20th century. In my Critical Notes Series, I typically look at misprints and textual variants. But the solo part of Barber's concerto was proofread with a great amount of accuracy…

Critical Notes Series: Haydn's Divertimento arr. by Piatigorsky

Undoubtedly, Joseph Haydn's Divertimento is a staple of the cello repertoire. Besides the 2 cello concertos, Haydn didn't leave us with any sonatas, so a fancy arrangement for cello and piano is always welcome. The story of Piatigorsky's arrangement is…

Critical Notes Series: Saint-Saëns's Suite Op 16b

Suite Op.16 was originally composed in 1862 for cello and piano by the young Saint-Saëns, full of life and passion. In 1919, he orchestrated 3 of the movements from the 1862 Suite and replaced the third (Scherzo) and fifth (Finale)…

Critical Notes Series: Stravinsky's Suite Italienne

Most of the music written in the last 100 years is monopolized by the original publishers. I'll venture to say that most of this music was killed by the original publisher because it was pulled out of print. We may…

Considering Schnittke's Suite in Old Style

Many cellists have adopted Schnittke's Suite in Old Style as their own, although it was originally composed for violin and piano (or harpsichord). I would argue that it sounds better with harpsichord. Since this work has made it into the…

Introducing Arsentiy Kharitonov's Reminiscenza for Solo Cello

This work was written about 3 years ago by Arsentiy Kharitonov, a pianist-composer from St. Petersburg, Russia. Currently residing in Texas, Kharitonov composed this solo cello tone poem for Cicely Parnas. The entire work germinates from the first three measures…

Introducing Don Jaffé's Cello Sonata "Shoah" [Holocaust] 

Born in Riga, Latvia, Don Jaffé moved around quite a bit due to the war and anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. His family was forced to flee to Siberia in 1941. After returning to his native town at age 14, Jaffé…

Teacher's Change of Perspective

Tomorrow will mark 25 years since I started playing cello. It has been a tough but very rewarding road. Thinking about the subject I wanted to share with my readers on this occasion, I settled on my continued learning and…