TUTTI CELLI CONTENTS -- Volume 13, Issue 2

Tim Janof, Editor


Featured Artist
** MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH -- SIX FRENCH INTERVIEWS **

Article
** THE WELL-TEMPERED CELLIST -- THINKING BACK TO FRONT **



ICS Forum/Cello/Equipment Chat Board

Activities and Announcements

Other Internet Music Resources


ICS FEATURED ARTIST


SIX FRENCH INTERVIEWS

WITH MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH

November 2005 to November 2006

Translated by David Abrams

with the assistance of French
Cellist Caroline Vincent


Rostropovich at the 8th Cello
Competition in Paris 2005
In the last year-and-a-half of his life, Mstislav Rostropovich gave six fascinating interviews in French newspapers and on French radio. For this special memorial issue of the newsletter of the Internet Cello Society, David Abrams has arranged them in English in chronological order with a few editorial explanations. The two French radio broadcasts can be listened to on the websites of these radio stations, which provide a way to hear Rostropovich speaking in Russian with the ceaseless energy, brilliant erudition, lively humor, warmth of spirit, phenomenal memory, moral fervor, and profound inspirational thinking, which characterized him throughout his life.

In the middle of the period of these interviews, a year from his death in Moscow on April 27, 2007, Tim Janof conducted the important interview with Rostropovich on April 5, 2006, which recently appeared here: http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/rostropovich/rostropovich.htm

In the following French interviews, the reader will recognize that the editorial explanations by David Abrams are separated in brackets [ ] in order to differentiate them from the words of Rostropovich.

(Click here for the complete transcript.)


ARTICLE


The Well-Tempered Cellist

Thinking Back to Front

by Selma Gokcen



"Let the spine light up your fingertips."

-- Patrick Macdonald

"A wheel needs a central point of contact, an axis, in order to turn and spin. One never loses touch with one's central point - the spine - as one moves through life. But society today has lost that core. It has no idea where it is going."

-- Svami Purna




"Stay back, aim up and let 'it' be done for you," are the words of the late and great teacher in the Alexander Technique, Patrick Macdonald. What does it mean to stay back and aim up so that 'it' can happen?

Opening the way for 'it' to happen implies a certain quality of attention. Great musicians of all persuasions´┐ŻAfrican drummers, tango violinists, jazz pianists, fado singers, and inspired cellists too´┐Żtake themselves and their listeners up where the music is. Their energies, when flowing freely, create a cybernetic loop. Energy begets energy and before long the entire performance space and all the people in it are buzzing, charged with that indefinable 'something' that makes a performance unforgettable.

How can we open the way for this 'it' which takes us up and frees us to communicate through the music? There are many paths; I just happened to discover one of them through the Alexander Technique, a practical way of working in harmony with, instead of against, ourselves.

(Click here for the complete transcript.)



ICS FORUM/CELLO/EQUIPMENT CHAT


In addition to our boards, you are welcome to contact our forum hosts directly. For a complete list of ICS Forum Hosts please see http://www.cello.org/The_Society/Staff.html

>> Dvorak Concert

ekhb: I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on the Dvorak cello concerto and traditions as far as tempos go. For example, in measure 165 of the first movement almost everyone slows down into the Cantabile quasi Portamento section, but, its not written in the score. I'm aware of the differences between Dvorak's concerto and Wihan's version of Dvorak's cello concerto-as well as Dvorak's dislike of his changes... but I'm not really asking about the note differences, just the tempo selections.

Beyond this, when one is making an audition CD of the concerto does one follow traditions or the printed score.

CBY: I have been thinking the same things. I ordered the Czech Urtex and found that no one truly follows half of the markings in the music, but Feuermann comes close, especially regarding tempos. The recordings of the concerto over the last fifty years have been painstakingly lethargic, ruining the whole motion of the concerto, especially in the 2nd movement.

I say if the audition panel has a problem, they should consult Dvorak because he has the last word, not the Leonard Rose edition.

David Sanders: That's not a great attitude to go into an audition with. I understand the frustration, but realistically speaking, the committee does have the "last word." That said, I can't believe that anyone on a committee would be thinking, "if only he/she would play more like the original score and not the Leonard Rose edition." Committees are looking for good cello playing and good music making.

zambocello: Thoughtful musicology won't much help an audition effort. What you need there is good cello playing and a musicianship that doesn't scare the committee into thinking you won't fit in. (Though that's often exactly the kind of musicianship that interests conductors, which is why I like committees having lots-of-say in the hiring process.)

It is interesting that Dvorak auditions rarely go past the exposition. But why should they? The point of the concerto is to let the applicant show themselves at their best. And, if it's a section position, the winning cellist will never play Dvorak with the orchestra anyway.

Fastidiously following one source or another won't win an audition. But please, please, please: it's NOT an augmented chord in the 4th measure of the solo part!

cbrey: Zambo's absolutely right. It should not be an augmented chord. Neither should it be a 1st inversion B major chord. It is a 7 diminished 7th of E, spelled (from the bottom) D-sharp, A-natural, F-sharp.

CBY2: And doesn't good music making include playing what's written and not some traditional way of playing a passage? Of course, it only matters about how WELL you play for auditions.

According to this Czech Urtex part, the original 4th bar is supposed to be (in C-string, G-string, D-string order)

F-sharp, D-sharp, B-natural
F-sharp, D-sharp, A-natural
E-flat, C-natural, G-natural
D-sharp, B-natural, F-sharp
Isn't the first chord the one people play wrong most?

D44: You're right, it's the first chord. Dvorak apparently didn't like parallel fifths, so the fourth chord is also different than the frequently appearing D#-B-F# of some editions.

CBY: So the fourth chord has an A natural in the manuscript? I guess the urtex is wrong? What edition(s) have the A?

cbrey: What edition are you considering to be an urtext? Surely not Simrock?

I have here the 1989 Supraphon Edition published in Prague and edited by Oskar Sourek, as well as the Eulenburg edition revised, corrected and published by Roger Fiske in 1976. They both have the diminished seventh with the A natural in the 4th beat of bar 90.

The Supraphon edition in particular is fascinating for its editorial commentary explaining its derivation from various sources and its appendix illustrating successive versions of certain passages.

Of course it makes no difference to an audition committee, and it will always be a great masterpiece any way you slice it, but if you perform it in its entirety, and especially if you played it the old way for many years as I did, it's fun to refresh your take on it and play it exactly as presented in the Czech critical edition. Once you've performed bar 128 in the 1st movement and bar 397 in the last movement as written, you'll never fear another octave passage.

CBY:I have the Czech "Editio Barenreiter Praha / H 1200" revised by Prof. Ladislav Zelenka. It claims to be the "[c]ritical edition based on [the composer's manuscript] and prepared for the press by the Editing Board for the Works of Antonin Dvorak." It was released in 2004 and the code number is ISMN M-2601-0332-0, if that helps.

Whenever something in the part is not the exact notes of the "original," it leaves an * and has the "original" note(s) at the bottom of the page.

Piatigorsky is the only one, as far as I know, that plays 158 separately (not slurred or with flying bow), as written. Does any one else venture to play this part (and later at 285) separate?

Also, in the 2nd mov. Cadenza, the third beat of bar 107 is 'supposed' to start with an eigth note, E-nat. octave with the G/C pizz.

Mr. Brey, my edition also has optional octaves in bars 57-69 in the last movement.

BA: CBY- the Supraphon cello/piano reduction unfortunately contains a number of mistakes, particularly in those early bars. The reprint of the Supraphon full score, which is what Carter was referring to, is now available from Masters Music. I'm away from home so I can't address the exact measures, but if you are still curious I'll check that and the new B&H critical edition as well when I get back.


mvotapek: Eleanor, pleeeeeease don't do a tempo change there or anywhere else just because it's...

a) tradition
b) safe to play standardly in an audition
c) comfortable to play

If you do the change because ...

a) you're still a student and your teacher would like you to live with it that way for awhile
b) you've found a source you trust that indicates it

or

c) you've played it in tempo many times, and after that you find there is an emotional AND logical reason for liking the slower tempo better.

Nothing wrong with c), just arrive there the right way. And I find it's good to start all over with the original markings EVERY time I work on the piece. Sometimes the reason for something only makes sense later.

More lecture than you wanted, I'm sure!

Speaking of urtexts, does anyone have an answer to measure 25, downbeat, Bach C-minor Allemande? Seems all the manuscripts say G in the bass, yet most editions say B-flat. I learned B-flat before really checking it. The G is jarring, and I'm having a hard time accepting it.

CBY: BA, Is the Supraphon what I have? I am pretty naive in the whole edition business.

BA: Yes, Barenreiter bought Supraphon and what you have is the 'critical' Supraphon except that the cello piano reduction is wrong; it should be A natural in m91, 4th beat (what you called the 4th measure). All chords in the opening except the 4th beat of m89 should be rolled (though B&H has no rolls on the mm 93-94 chords) and the last note of m.94 is a solitary G with no chord below it. There are a few other mistakes but these are the ones I remember off hand. It's worth buying the Masters music reprint- it's cheap and really interesting. The B&H score is interesting as well, but to get the critical commentary that explains why they made the choices they did you have to buy the full size score that costs mega dollars.

>> Mis-prints in the Bach Suites

Bob: Picking up on mvotapek's comment about that note in the C minor Allemande down in the Dvorak thread [see above], herewith are some of my favorite wrong notes from the AMB manuscript. That G is certainly one, and I see that it has made it into at least one of the subsequent manuscripts in the Barenreiter collection, so it has legs. But we're allowed to apply our knowledge of Bach's style and practice when we look through these uncertain copies, and that note is so patently wrong (to my ears) that I never spent much time worrying about it.

Another note that is equally-clearly wrong (to my ears) is the C# in the chord at the beginning of the 9th bar of the D major Gigue. It's apparently not clearly wrong to a lot of other ears, since it's in most editions and I hear it in many, if not most performances. But the resulting harmonic progression is one that Bach never did anywhere else to my knowledge, and it makes no sense.

I also have two different facsimiles of the AMB (one being in the venerable Alexanian edition) that fail to reproduce the Eb eight bars before the end of the D minor Gigue (Barenreiter copy does show it). But that mistake has shown up in a viola edition, because I've heard two different violists play an E natural there. Crazy!!!

mvotapek: My favorite of the day: C Major Suite, 2nd Bourree, measure 4, last note. I hear so many A-naturals per AMB, but the Kellner and subsequent manuscripts have A-flat, which sounds unmistakably correct to me. Last time on here I followed a manuscript because it sounded right, I ended up getting flamed in musical theory, so I'll run away now.

(The G I drew into question is a little different, since ALL manuscripts agree on it. I certainly play B-flat instead, but every time I just have to take the G seriously before shaking my head and going back to playing B-flat. I wouldn't want to miss out on some meaningfully rare and exceptional Bach chord.)

Memo Ma: The other category is Bach's "wouldn't it be nice if they were misprints" moments - for me, right now it's that C-E-Bb chord on the second measure of the Dm Minuet I.

mvotapek: If you're so inclined to roll your chords (which I would do in a minuet regardless of difficulty) quickly, one note at a time from bottom to top, then you can play that chord:

1 on the G string
4 on the G string
3 on the D string.

The C should ring even after you re-stop the string for the E.

It'll sound silly if you only do it on that one chord though. But you might find if you try it for awhile, at least in light dance movements, that it's less clunky than the "traditional ka-chunk" way of playing chords.

Oh and don't forget to roll your 2-note chords too if you do this way.

zambocello: I play that A natural! and as to the chord in the minuet of the d minor, I can reach it with 4 on C-string harmonic, 2 on G-string E, 1 on D-string B flat. It works handily for me because I play the first chord with the G-string F and open D and A.

Memo Ma: I sort of got into an argument once with my teacher about that B natural - her saying that it HAD to be a Bb, she played it that way and it just sounded better than B natural. So I brought my Baerenreiter to lesson to show all sources had C# B A Bb, to which she just said, (not exactly in these words), "fine, you play it your way, I'll still play it."

mvotapek: Fine. I'll play C-sharp, B-NAT, A, B-flat next time. I'm cringing as I type it even, but it's not impossible that it could be correct. I'm still not going to play G! as the bass in the other suite though. The former sounds like ornery Bach, but the latter just sounds like a mistake.

>> Haydn D?

cellofyre: I work in the UNCG cello music collection, the world's largest cello music collection, and I need some help for a friend of mine who is cataloging everything from the Magg collection.

Here's what he sent me: My question: I have in front of me a manuscript of a solo cello part entitled "Josef Haydn, Konzert Nr. 3, D-dur, Solo-Violoncello". In cataloging this, I have to come up with what we call a uniform title--and to accomplish this, I must match the manuscript with a printed version of the work. Well, so far I have not located a printed version, and I recall that you once mentioned in conversation the "third Haydn concerto", long mis-attributed to Kraft. Is my memory accurate? And might you direct me to a printed copy of this music? I have not yet launched a systematic search, preferring instead to begin by asking knowledgeable people such as you.

Can you throw light on this dark little corner of my work with the Cello Collection? And, by the way, I am assuming I have the 1st movement in hand, as the orchestra plays a 40 bar exposition before the cello enters with an ornamented measure-and-a-half prior to the "solo", beginning F#G(ornament F#D)A(ornamentG#)A(ornamentG#)A...

Thanks for having a think about this, and I'll look forward to hearing from you.

Does anyone know more about this, I've done some research, and found a printed score of Concerto in D major, Hob.VIIb:4, the one that Maria Kliegel recorded on Naxos, but nothing more than that. I also know that in the collection is a completely different Haydn Concerto edited by Popper...which, I might add...looks inhumanly difficult...definitely not Haydn.

Bob: I have to point out that the only authentic Haydn cello concerto out there is the C major. All the others are spurious to one degree or another. The famous D major, Op. 101, does exist in Haydn's own hand, invoking one of music's great mysteries: why would a busy, mature, successful composer write out someone else's work? There have been many theories on this, and I sure don't know the answer. I don't argue that the work is definitely by Kraft, since I'm unfamiliar with Kraft's other music. But Anner Byslma suggests that it was by Kraft and that Haydn edited and orchestrated the work as a tribute to a friend and composition pupil. Makes as much sense as any other theory, I guess.

BA: Just to clarify, lest someone come away with the wrong impression-- despite the dissent of thoughtful minds like Mr. Battey and Mr. Bylsma, virtually every major Haydn scholar since the discovery of the autograph believes the D Major (Op. 101) concert is indeed by Haydn, though likely composed at an earlier date than the opus would indicate.

As with much history, 100% certainty will most likely never be possible and thoughtful dissent can certainly exist, but to most music historians the question is now considered settled.

In any case, no matter the origin, it has earned a justly deserved place in the repertoire on its own merits.

cellobass: In addition to the handwritten manuscripts, there is an old catalogue of Haydn works, it lists the works and the first few bars of the beginnings. This catalogue had been found before the rediscovery of the C major in 1961, so some insiders knew in advance that there is a C major. This catalogue lists 6 cello concertos, and the famous D major is amongst them. The only problem is: I don't know the name of that catalogue, so I can't offer a written and notarized proof of my statement ;-) But I can't imagine why someone living at the time of Haydn should falsify entries and void a handwritten document that took a lot of time to compose.

Bob: Whoa!! Let's hear some of the scholar's names, BA. With citations, if you wouldn't mind.

zambocello: I'm acquainted with only a very small slice of Kraft's work: the Cello Concerto in C and the Three Sonatas (Opus Forgotten) for two cellos. I think the Haydn Op. 101 is more like Haydn than those Kraft pieces, FWIW.

BA: Robbins Landon: this is just a quick and dirty one from the web. I remember reading more on this one of his books in my school days, but I don't have it at hand and frankly I don't have the time to search it out, nor am I sure where you got the impression he believes otherwise, unless he's changed his mind (as he recently did about the piano sonati): http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,821639,00.html?promoid=googlep

. (the reference is clearly to the Op.101 whose manuscript had recently been discovered, despite the erroneous 'fifth' allusion - VII:5 was not thought to be by Kraft, and certainly would not have been confirmed as Haydn by Landon. Still, can you imagine Time magazine today having an article about Haydn?)

You might also try the article in Grove's or biography by Jens Peter Larsen. Or the Oxford or Cambridge biographies. All of these, for starters, clearly state that the authenticity has been confirmed. Personally I'd like to see you cite a respected modern musicologist who believes it was not by Haydn, and actually believes that Haydn merely copied out the COMPLETE manuscript for someone else's concerto in his own hand, that it was also forged into his catalog of works, and that he allowed it to be published as his work during his lifetime (1804). WHY? (n.b. Ockham's Razor) I'm clearly not much of a musicologist, but I have never run across this assertion in modern times from anyone but you (and I assume from what you say Mr. Bylsma- I'm unwilling to buy the CD just to find out...). Certainly there was dispute before the manuscript was found, but virtually none since that I am aware of.

The evidence for it being by Haydn is the autograph manuscript in his own hand with his signature. The evidence against it as I understand it is that you don't think it sounds stylistically idiomatic, or good enough or clever enough to have been by Haydn. Does this mean the Consecration of the House overture is not by Beethoven?

I have great respect for your intellect and ideas in general, but this one is really out there with the conspiracy theories. You have every right to your opinion, friend, but to state it as fact is really a bit too much, and misleading to those who may not know the general opinions of scholarship. I am well accustomed to feelings of certainty that I am right and the experts are wrong (c.f. du Pre) so I have sympathy for you, and maybe you're even right, but let's not pretend the rest of the world agrees.

BTW, in regard to the original question, the following site lists the other D major concerto as being 'Probably by Costanzi'- they don't specify whether it was George, Frank or Estel. http://home.wxs.nl/~cmr/haydn/catalog/sympho.htm#cello

rarecellos: Two and half years ago we went through the debate on this very same issue.

The Haydn D Major Cello Concerto is by Joseph Haydn. The debate has been settled since the discovery of the original autographed manuscript.

I discussed the authenticity issue of the Haydn D Major Concerto with Editor-in-Chief of American Musicological Society, Prof. Bruce Alan Brown, in a series of email exchanges in late 2004.

Here is Prof. Brown's response to my question whether Haydn D Major Concerto is by Joseph Haydn himself or Anton Kraft.

Re the concerto: a chat line is not the place to settle the issue. The "Haydn" article by James Webster (w/ worklist by Georg Feder) in the online _Grove_ says that the piece was once "erroneously attrib[uted to] A. Kraft; rev. version by F.A. Gevaert". The score exists in Haydn's own authentic autograph manuscript -- which should settle the issue. For more information, you'd have to do a bibliographic search (e.g., on RILM), & look at the discussion in the critical edition.

The above quote from Prof. Bruce Brown in an email format is dated Dec 3, 2004. Here is my citation! Sorry, it is not done in the APA, MLA, or the Chicago citation style. And sorry for the secondary source.

By the way, I love Bylsma's Bach, and I am a huge fan of his beautiful playing. But when I heard Bylsma play the Haydn D live, it was not his best performance. I have Bylsma's Haydn D CD as well,uh... again, I prefer his Bach. One man's opinion on Bylsma's Haydn.

Once again, the authorship of Haydn D Major Cello Concerto is undoubtedly by Joseph Haydn (see the original authograph manuscript).

I wonder if this debate will surface in another two year and six months in this forum.

Bob: Friends, colleagues, chatters,

In each and every post I've done on this topic, I have mentioned the existence of the Haydn manuscript. Thus, citing it back to me as though it constitutes a rebuttal means you're not listening.

Let me try it a different way. Let's say that there's this painting, consisting of a large Campbell's Tomato Soup label. But then down in the corner, is a signature, scientifically confirmed as authentic -- "W. de Kooning." Art experts who lack inquiring minds will simply say "well, obviously it's a de Kooning; what would that signature be doing there if de Kooning didn't paint it?" Art experts who study de Kooning closely and use common sense will say "I'm sorry; there is nothing in this painting that bears any relation to any known work of de Kooning's. Why he chose to paint it, or a least sign it, is a mystery. It's a fascinating mystery, but this is not a work that originated in any way in de Kooning's imagination." This is the situation we have here.

We performers have sometimes maligned musicologists as nattering nabobs, effete snobs, failed composers, etc., etc. I had several close friends in college who went into musicology and I've always respected and defended their profession. Here, unfortunately, all of the cliches apply, at least to those who have addressed this mystery. The only thing anyone on these boards, and anyone they vaguely cite, can do is to keep braying "but there's a Haydn manuscript!!!" As if I don't understand that and as if that settles the matter.

But in art, there's a dimension beyond the surface. There are things that any trained musician without preconceptions can discern, and this, my friends is one of them. If you could, just for one moment as an intellectual exercise, forget that there's a manuscript, and STUDY THE SCORE, you might realize something. And that is that this concerto bears no relationship to any other such work by Haydn. The unremitting foursquare phrasing, the chromatic scale in the opening statement, the leaden structure (recap simply repeating the exposition??), and above all, the complete lack of any harmonic surprise, invention, creativity, or twists anywhere in the piece should tell you something. (The entire development section sitting like a leaden lump in the relative minor? Are you kidding me??) And if you compare the work, in structure or detail, to any of the authentic Haydn concertos -- the fiddle concertos in C or G, the piano concerto in D, or of course the C major cello concerto -- the matter would be settled.

None of Haydn's compositional fingerprints appear in this concerto. Why, of all the zillions of Haydn pieces out there, did Gavaert feel the need to revise this one (which then became the preferred version for nearly a century)? Why do Starker and Bylsma think that this work is by someone else? Why is just about every recording of the piece different in some textual aspect?

I could not agree more with rarecellos's friend that "a chat line is not the place to settle the issue." What he fails to understand, though, is that the mere existence of a manuscript doesn't settle it either. There are works of Vivaldi that exist in Bach's hand. Does that make them works of Bach? The place to settle the issue is in studying this concerto, comparing it to authentic works of Haydn, and then applying common sense.

Unlike a Haydn recapitulation, which continues to vary and add to the material from the exposition, my recapituation here will be that of this spurious concerto -- simply rehashing old material. I throw out to one and all the same challenge that has sent the naysayers running for the high grass ever since I posted it a decade ago: Find me one single sonata-form work authentically by Haydn that bears any relationship to this concerto. Symphony, piano sonata, baryton trio -- I don't care. Just find one. You have hundreds and hundreds to choose from.

No one ever has, and by now I'm pretty confident that no one ever will. But if anyone ever does, I will trumpet his/her name here, parade down main street nude, and never, ever impose my imagined certitude here again. Until that time, though, stop yammering about the manuscript, which simply shows that this debate is over your head.

>> Schelomo

BobS: Which notes in Bloch's "Schelomo" are actually raised by a quarter tone (in the 5/4 measure immediately preceding rehearsal number 36 in the Schirmer edition). The printed notes are C, D-flat, F, E, D-flat, C-sharp, C-natural, B-natural (followed by A and E in the next measure). Printed above the passage (over the C-sharp or C-natural) is "+1/4 di tuono" and under the next measure is the notation "modo ordinario" (which, in the piano part, appears to apply to the B-natural in the last beat of the previous measure. So the question is, where exactly does the quarter-tone increase start and end? (And is the D-flat to C-sharp "transition" in the passage meant to be enharmonic?)

Bob: The notation there is indeed confusing, if not actually wrong. It seems pretty clear to me that Bloch was seeking for you to play a Db, followed by a note half-way between Db and C, and then a C. I've heard cellists go into contortions trying to play what appears to be a note one quarter-tone higher than C# there. Anyway just stick that note in between Db and C.

mvotapek: I was told by Nelsova and by Starker that it IS a raised quarter tone. I don't have any theoretical backing or communication with the deceased composer, but for now I'd advocate sticking with what he wrote: a quarter tone higher.

As to the modo ordinario, that's in reference to the sulla tastiera (am i remembering that right?). The quarter tone indication is only for one note.

Bob: I certainly respect your sources, Mark, but I've got one too: the recording Nelsova and Bloch made together in 1949 (far closer in time to its conception). There it is indisputable that the note in question is lower than the Db. I think if the composer had wanted a higher note, that would have been a good time to have mentioned it.

BA: Sorry to disagree Mark, but Zara taught me to play that 1/4 tone lower and does so on all her recordings. Given how closely she worked the piece with Bloch I would consider that pretty authoritative. Not sure where Starker got his idea.

>> Scale Fingerings

jmstephens: Does anyone have a fingering chart for scales?

mlunapiena1: I don't think I've ever seen a fingering chart, but something that my teacher introduced me to with major scales that I have found extremely useful (it's best to try this on one string scales to get the gist) is a universal fingering:

24 124 134 134 12 12 (for 2 octave scale)

It works the same for every scale because it's based on the form of the scale & works basically in any area of the finger board. The idea is to not use extensions ... I unfortunately don't have an image of it, but my teacher introduced it using Eb starting on the C string:

Eb F G A Bb C D Eb
2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4

I hope that makes some kind of sense... I unfortunately don't have a copy of it on sheet music that I could scan....

I've never really seen a chart, but perhaps a good starting point for scale fingerings would be something like Julius Klengel's Cello method book (I've forgotten the name of it) or probably any scale book will have fingerings....

G String Gary: After using luna's fingering when I was younger, I've found that it really isn't very good. Try:

1 x2 4
1 x2 4
1 2 4
1 2 4
1 2 3
1 2 3
thumb 1 2 3
1 2 3
1 2 3 3
3 2 1...

Stay on the three lower strings in the lower positions, go up the D string, and cross to the A on "thumb 1 2 3."

ARBettridge: One might try playing 13x4 instead of 1x24. I think that Carter's talked about this before; I really believe that this will result in a more balanced and natural left hand position.

zambocello: cbrey is a fan of this and has talked about it here. It works for me, but not in lowest positions. In fourth, though, I can finger E, F, F#, G# with 1, 2, 3, x4. Depending on the context it seems the thing to do.

bob: Using "universal" fingerings is a waste of time. They're for lazy brains only. You would never use such fingerings in a passage of real music. If you want to develop your skill for fingerings that avoid open strings, then just play scales in keys that don't use them. But practicing a G or a D scale that way is silly.

Babinicello: CELLISTS-----YOU NEVER WILL REACH THE MASTERING OF THE FINGERBOARD practicing scales with ONLY ONE SET OF FINGERINGS-----such system is TOTALY FALSE.

USE AS MANY DIFERENT SETS OF FINGERINGS IN A SINGLE SCALE.---DO NOT BE A SLAVE OF A FINGERING, EVER AND EVER OR YOU WILL BE PLAYING THE CELLO LIKE BOZZO.

>> William Tell Solo

grace422: In the William Tell cello quartet excerpt, there is 4 measures of trills bars 37-40. Does this go F-sharp to G-sharp, F-sharp to G-sharp, F-sharp to G-natural, F-sharp, or are they all all F-sharp to G-sharp?

BA: The critical edition specifies that the G natural and following G# trills start from the top and make no such indication for the opening trill, which would therefore be played from the lower note.

The critical edition is Ricordi, and it's fairly new with some substantial changes (no basses in the opening!! Just tutti celli playing repeated E's, without the octave jump) There is another measure that has a swell that should actually have a crescendo all the way through (B B# C# B A# A- sorry my score is not available for the measure #). It's all worth a look.

For the trill, certainly everyone can do as they wish, but to me it seems that the musical logic behind the upper note start for the G and the G# is that both the change away from the G# to G and the change back from G to G# are both significant musical events which both require emphasis.

>> Haydn D Cadenza

Courtesy of Carter Brey, the following is a cadenza by Rostropovich for the Haydn D Major Concerto:

http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/rostrohaydnd.pdf


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