Practice your scales!

As an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity  to play Haydn D-major Concerto in a masterclass for Natalia Gutman. Known for her huge sound, she taught and demonstrated this concerto with incredible grace, style and poise. It was an unforgettable afternoon!

Here's one reason why she was able to place with such ease and command: total command of scales on the cello.

From the excellent blog The Bulletproof Musician:

"[Natalia Gutman] played a scale.

Up. Down. Arpeggios. One note to a bow. Eight. Sixteen. I think she even played the whole darn scale (up and down) in one bow.

Anyone can play a scale. But to play it with the kind of ease and effortlessness she demonstrated, with such precise yet organic and fluid bow distribution, control, evenness, smoothness, not to mention sparkling pure sound, clean shifts and intonation…sigh…

It left us speechless."

Check out her performance below of Schumann's Fantasy Pieces. 

Bach on the Banjo

I love hearing the cello repertoire played well on other instruments. It's a great way to get a different spin on the work played, and can result in new ideas for our instrument as well. Here is the masterful Jens Kruger performing Bach Prelude to Suite no. 1 in G major...on the banjo!