September/October 1998----Volume 4, Issue 5
New at ICS?--3000 members from 67 different countries
from the Editor
Exclusive Interview **CONVERSATION WITH SIEGFRIED PALM**
Memoriam **DAVID BLUM**
Spotlight ** CIRCE DIAZ **
** "VIVA VIBRATO" METHOD BOOK **
Award Website ** NEW DIRECTIONS CELLO ASSOCIATION **
Cello Chat Board
Anner Bylsma's New Book on Bach
Internet Music Resources
The ICS has almost 3,000 members. There is one new country represented by
our membership: Slovakia. Here's the total list of 67 countries: Argentina,
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,Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France,
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India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon,
Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia,
Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (ROC),Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom,
United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe.
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MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR
Summer's over and the new performing season is upon us! I for one feel quite
rejuvenated by the wonderful music festivals I attended, and, of course,
by the sunny weather. And now it's time to get back to work. It looks like
we'll have a star-studded series of interviews this year. Already in the
queue are Anner Bylsma, Steven Isserlis, Colin Carr, and Lluis Claret.
It's going to be a very exciting year for cellists here in Seattle. We have
a new concert hall opening, Benaroya Hall, and many cello luminaries are
passing through to celebrate it. Yo-Yo Ma will be playing in recital,
will perform both the Haydn C and Rococo Variations, Janos Starker will
perform the world premiere of a new Hovhaness concerto, and Truls Mork will
play the Dvorak. What a great concert season!
We have heard the rumblings on the Cello Chat board for a live chat room.
We tried this before, but found it difficult to coordinate, with so many
time zones involved, i.e. all of them. But we are happy to try it once again.
Our Webmaster, Marshall St. John, is
working on this. We hope to have it operational in a week or two.
I am responding to the plaintive article about understanding the Bach Cello
Suites. I am a cellist (retired from the San Francisco Symphony). I have
a MA in music in which I studied Baroque articulation and ornamentation.
My teacher (Putnam Aldrich) knew the dances by having danced them himself.
I feel that I have gone beyond the usual interpretations by transcending
the "head vs. heart" controversy, emphasizing the fundamental
rhythms and articulations. The music comes to life in a different way. The
Bach Suites have been in the back of my mind all through my Symphony
There is an alternative to "romantic interpretation vs. scholarly
My playing is definitely not arid. I have had the experience of playing
some of them for people who knew very little about music, but could still
feel them directly. I have found a way to have both head and heart.
I've just completed a MS for a book (to be published in spring 1999) on
Catherine Hayes, an important Irish born Prima Donna of note in Europe,
America, and Australia in the 1840's-1850's.
During an early concert in Dublin, Ireland, Catherine Hayes performed at
the Rotunda Concert Rooms, in January 1841, with Franz Liszt and a cellist
called S. J. Pigott (well known musical family in Dublin - they still have
a store in Dublin) who owned a 1720 Stradivari cello which was brought to
Ireland from Spain in 1818 by a Mr. McDowell. Sometime after Pigott's death
in 1853, Piatti came into possession of this cello. I would be interested
in knowing who is the owner/ performer of the instrument today?
I would like to mention the current whereabouts of the instrument in the
section of the book that deals with this early concert in which Listz
with Pigott in a duet for piano and cello.
Can anybody help?
Hi. I just heard from a teacher that you post orchestra audition lists at
the website. This is a great idea. As a senior at Peabody Conservatory,
I consider this a very valuable resource. Thanks for coming up with such
a great feature. :)
I am completing a DMA from the University of Houston with Laszlo Varga and
have made a new edition of the Beethoven Cello Sonata Op. 64 (from the String
Trio Op. 3), which I plan to publish. I made a full score showing the trio
and sonata side by side (with the trio below), and would like to know if
you know of any publisher that would be interested in issuing it in this
format, because it really shows the numerous, albeit small, changes that
exist. Thanks for the help.
**If you would like to respond to something you have read in 'Tutti Celli',
write to email@example.com and type
Letter" in subject field. (Letters may be edited.)**
ICS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
by TIM FINHOLT
Siegfried Palm has had a distinguished and varied performing career. He
was Principal Cellist of orchestras in Lubeck, Hamburg, and Cologne, cellist
in the Hamann Quartet, and a member of a trio with Max Rostal and Heinz
Schroter. He has given masterclasses worldwide and has served as a jury
member at numerous international competitions. He has recorded for several
companies and has had works dedicated to him by composers such as Krzystof
Penderecki, Yannis Xenakis, Boris Blacher, and Gyorgy Ligeti. He was Director
of the State Conservatoire in Cologne, Director of the Deutsche Oper in
Berlin, President of the German Composers' Society, and President of ESTA.
In 1969 and 1976 he was awarded the German Gramophone prize, and in 1972
he was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque International.
TF: You are considered by many to have a certain expertise in contemporary
music. I realize that "contemporary" is an overly broad term,
but let's go with it for now.
SP: I don't consider myself to be an expert. How can anybody be an expert
on contemporary music when there are thousands of works that have yet to
be played or heard? I see contemporary music more as my hobby.
TF: Contemporary composers have certainly forced us to reconsider how we
define "music." When I watched you bow on your tailpiece in the
Penderecki Capriccio, I couldn't help but ponder whether that was a
moment, or just a very entertaining sound or visual effect.
SP: No, that's music. Whether or not something is artistic depends on what
the composer does with it.
TF: Do you define music as merely "organized sound?"
SP: No, I don't think so. You can't just look at the end result, the music.
You must look at the composer's overall process and techniques, which should
also include an understanding of his or her personal and professional
This is true of any good composer like Penderecki. ** The remainder of the
interview is available at: http://cello.org/Artists/Artist.h
THE PASSING OF DAVID BLUM
by Tim Finholt
I recently read that David Blum has died, author of "Casals and the
Art of Interpretation," "The Art of Quartet Playing," and
"Paul Tortelier: A Self-Portrait," as well as profiles of Yo-Yo
Ma, Joseph Gingold, Bernard Greenhouse, and Shin-ichi Suzuki. Though I didn't
know him well, I still find that I mourn his passing. He was a wonderful
writer and musician, as can be heard from his recording of Haydn symphonies
with the Esterhazy Orchestra.
Mr. Blum's work has played a significant role in my musical life. Especially
influential was his book on Casals, which I read over and over in my college
days. I remember telling him, like a rabid groupie, that I absolutely loved
his book, even it's size and how it felt to hold.
We didn't speak much after that.
Years later, when I arranged his talk on Casals at the University of
I had the privilege of having several long conversations with him about
the legendary cellist. He patiently endured my grilling of him on why playing
like Casals is not "fashionable" today. He fought back well, saying
that profound musicianship never goes out of style, and that Casals' level
of artistry transcends time. I now wish I had recorded these talks, and
I wish he had granted one of my many requests for an interview.
As you all know, I do a lot of writing for the Internet Cello Society. Whenever
I sit down to write, I always think, "This is pretty good, but it's
not as good as David Blum's work." For me, he will always be the standard.
I will miss him, but I find comfort in the fact that his books are on my
shelf when I need inspiration.
Good-bye, Mr. Blum.
Saludos from Venezuela!!!!
My name is Circe Diaz. I play the violoncello and live in Venezuela. We
have many orchestras and very good teachers here. I play in Aragua's Symphony
Orchestra. The history of our orchestra began in 1975 with the beginning
of the musical revolution. Master Jose Antonio Abreu created the orchestra
system, and international organizations like O.E.A and UNESCO helped the
movement. Aragua's Symphony Orchestra performed for the first time in the
Teatro de la Opera de Maracay on March 19, 1990. The orchestra was founded
with Aragua's musicians and we have now been playing together for eight
years. Our directors are Pablo Gonzales and Tereza Hernandez.
We have had international conductors such as Jordi Mora and Carlos Dominguez
Nieto (Spain), Rony Rogoff (Israel), Gerard Oskamp (Norway), Robert Olson
(U.S.A.), Mattias Gobel and Helmutt Rilling (Germany). National conductors
have included Simon Alvares, Inocente Carreno, Maria Guinand, Filipe Izcaray,
Alfredo Rugeles, Jorge Castillo, Federico Nunes Corona and Juan Carlos Nunez.
We have perfomed with national and international soloists such as David
Ascanio, Huascar Barradas, Efren Briskin, Ruben Camacho, Stoika Milanova,
Wilian Molina, Wilian Naranjo, Henry Rubio, Arnaldo Piaaolante, Alexis
Albert Markov, Luis Gomez Imbert, Ricardo Luque, German Marcano, Paul Desenne,
and Carlos Duarte.
The orchestra is very important in Venezuela. We recently had a violin festival
and performed music of Barber, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, and Bartok.
All of the soloists worked with Jose Fransisco del Castillo. He is a very
good teacher and takes care of all of his students.
I also am a member of the Women's Chamber Orchestra, founded by Tereza
It is the only women's chamber orchestra in my country. We began to play
together in 1997 for the Women's International Day, performing Baroque music
of Bach, Corelli, Locatelli, Lully and Handel. The orchestra is comprised
of 21 women: 7 first violins, 6 second violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos, and
1 bass. All are musicians of Aragua's Symphony Orchestra.
If you would like to see more information about us you can see our web page.
Just see Aragua on line and type Orquesta Sinfonica de Aragua.
reviewed by Irene Sharp
Viva Vibrato is a bright, attractive, instructive manual for beginning students
learning the secrets of how to produce a vibrato. The volume I looked at
was designed for the cello, but there are books for violin, viola, and bass
It is difficult to write about sound and music because they are so intangible.
It is also difficult to write about physical motions and sensations because
they are so personal. Writing a cookbook is much easier because you get
your ingredients together, cook them a certain way and 'voila' you have
your food ready to taste.
It would have been helpful if the authors, Gerald Fischbach and Robert Frost,
had included a CD or cassette with their book so that the student could
hear the different types of vibrato. I feel educating the brain ear is all
important, so that the student can hear what they are after. Also, I believe
that, if the left hand foundation is secure, the vibrato follows very
Perhaps an explanation is necessary that (in the case of the cello) the
fingers of the left hand must cling tenaciously to the string, while the
arm is in charge of moving the hand. The arm must feel extremely light in
order to be able to move for the vibrato and shifting, and the string must
be pulled toward the body by the fingers in order to accomplish the pitches
that are needed. The act of attaching the fingers to the string by pulling
toward the body rather than pushing frees the thumb so that it is not pushing
against the neck of the cello.
In many instances, if the left hand is balanced, the vibrato will happen
by itself. A beautiful vibrato is proof that the left hand and arm are working
well. Occasionally, some exercises may be necessary to help the vibrato,
but basically one must first see that the left hand is clinging to the string
and that the arm is light, otherwise the vibrato will not be forthcoming.
The student must be aware that the left hand plays the notes and the left
arm moves the hand. Therefore the finger only moves in response to the movement
of the arm, and not of its own instigation. Though the various exercises
in the book are attractively presented (although the language is too gimmicky
for me), I think they miss the basic needs of producing a fine vibrato:
knowing what sound you want to produce and knowing how to produce it.
The New Directions Cello Association is a network for the growing
field of alternative or nonclassical cello. The goals of the NDCA are to
encourage interaction and awareness among cellists and the musically oriented
public about the contributions that cellists are making in many styles of
contemporary music. This encompasses styles which are not commonly taught
to cellists at music schools (jazz, blues, rock, ethnic, new age, folk,
experimental, etc.) especially those styles involving improvisation.
**Please notify John Michel of interesting websites that you would
like to nominate for this recognition in the future. Websites will be selected
based on their content, cello relevance, creativity and presentation
**If you would like to ask a question, discuss an issue or get some
expert advice, post a message! Click here to find out about the CelloChat bulletin board,
or about #Cellotalk (real-time chat).
ICS Forum Hosts have been asked to check your posts regularly. In this way
not only the forum hosts, but the entire membership and Internet community
see your message! You are still welcome to contact the forum hosts directly.
For a complete list of ICS Forum Hosts please see http://www.cello.org/The_Society/Staff.html#ics
>>"After years of playing cello in the traditional fashion, I
have discovered a spiritual application for this wonderful instrument. I
have been playing for the past two years in a contemporary ensemble of 8
musicians and 8 vocalists. We play variety of Christian folk music and worship
titles. During a set, we will improvise and allow the musicians an unusual
freedom to allow the Spirit to flow through our instruments for 10-15 min.
(800-2000 in attendance). The result is somewhat humbling. People will come
to us and indicate that they have received ministry from the Spirit in the
melting away of past emotional hurt and pain. And it seems that it is the
distinct sound of the cello in particular is most attributed to this resulting
inner healing. As it has been two years in performance now and the comments
still come, I thought I would post this for your review and comment.
1. Do you have an opportunity to allow the Lord to use your instrument as
a prophetic voice of healing and encouragement?
2. For the Christian cellist: Are you aware of the potential for ministry
in this realm?
3. For agnostics or atheists: Consider the possibility of playing in a heavenly
orchestra, moved by a loving hand, creating spontaneous music beyond your
own musical ability."
I too have participated in similar settings (though not to the extent to
which you describe) I agree that the sound of the cello can be used by the
Spirit of God to bring a transcendent experience to listeners. Several members
of my congregation who are very open to the leading of the Holy Spirit have
told me that the sound of the cello has brought them blessings. I believe
that I am most free when playing the cello for the purpose of worship as
opposed to playing for the sake of performance.
I think that Bach had a grasp of this reality."
ICS Cello Chat Moderator
"I saw this hanging in my teacher's room, and I really liked it:
THAT IS WHY I TEACH MUSIC
NOT because I expect you to major in music.
NOT because I expect you to play or sing all your life.
NOT so you can only relax or have fun.
BUT - so you will be human
so you will recognize beauty
so you will be sensitive
so you will be closer to an Infinite beyond this world
so you will have something to cling to
so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness,
more good... in short, more life.
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how
THAT IS WHY I TEACH MUSIC"
The Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival is over for this year, but
have a look at the web site and think about next year. Masterclasses this
summer were led by Siegfried Palm and Anner Bylsma.
Cello Masterclasses with David Geringas, Bernard Greenhouse and Frans Helmerson
in Kronberg, (near Frankfurt) Germany, September 26 - October 2, 1998.
**If you have announcements, comments or reviews of music festivals, please
write Roberta Rominger at firstname.lastname@example.org
**Sarah Dorsey, official ICS librarian at email@example.com
(Please do not abuse this valuable service; check local libraries and resources
before contacting Sarah.) If you know of newsletters, teaching materials,
references, lists or articles that should be added to ICS Library, please
send data to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Library contents will be available to all
Internet users; please include author and written statement of release for
unlimited or limited reproduction.)**
World-renowned Early Music specialist and cellist, Anner Bylsma, has come
out with a new book "Bach, The Fencing Master - reading aloud from
the first three suites for solo cello." For further information, visit
http://www.ponticello.com/bylsma/. The site contains excerpts from the
book, as well as sound clips of Bylsma playing and talking about Bach.
The Glass Cathedral (Catalog No: BSNCD1 - Blue Snow Label), a new CD by
Philip Sheppard and recorded using a 5-string cello built by Seattle-based
luthier, Eric Jensen, is now available. Fourteen composers have been
to write for the groundbreaking instrument, including John Woolrich, Joby
Talbot, Simon Emmerson, and David Bedford. For further information e-mail
Philip Sheppard at email@example.com,
or visit http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~blue
**Members can submit announcements or news to firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Cello Teachers On-line Guide
Internet Chamber Music Directory
InterActive Music Emporium
An educational web site dedicated to educating music lovers of all kinds
in everything from the design and function of instruments to how to make
digital music. Guide to the Music Collection for String Players Repertoire.
The books listed here will help give you some idea of repertoire available
for your instrument.
"My name is Naftali Lahav. I am a musician from Kibbutz Mizra Israel.
I am conducting a New Music Education Project that runs in 19 schools
in Israel. This music program has been developed by me. I am looking for
elementary schools that are interested in this program, so we can work together
and run this program at your school. It is an original and unique program.
Please take a look at our internet site, print it, and pass it to your school
**ICS NET Resource Editor: Deborah Netanel at email@example.com**