Viewing: Orchestration 101: The String Section, videos 30-33.
Reference: Studying String Orchestration PDF from above course:
Cello Tuning, Range, Finger Positions, Harmonics, and Multiple Stops
Reading: Orchestration Manual, chapters on the cello.
Piston: Chapter 4.
Adler: Chapter 3 section on Cello.
Kennan: Chapter 2 section on Cello (pp. 24-2, 2nd Ed.)
Reading: 100 Orchestration Tips 89-94.
• J.S. Bach, Suite no. 3 for unaccompanied cello in C, BWV 1009
• Additional suite from the same collection, BWV 1007-1012
Recommended version: Complete Score (color scan) copied by Anna Magdalena Bach.
A good free upload of the recording by Colin Carr is the Suite no. 3’s own page:
Mischa Maisky is much more respectful to Bach’s bowing instructions than Carr, but then adds more. Good camera work, though tempos a bit sluggish at times, and a bit heavy-handed dynamically.
Rostropovich is superb in all things. Camera takes a long view a bit too often, but still excellent.
• Max Reger, Suite no. 1 for unaccompanied cello in G, Op. 131c
Guido Schiefen’s interpretation is nearly perfect throughout, and it’s great for study with the score added. (embedded below)
Örs Köszeghy’s version is more casual, playing on a porch with so-so acoustics. Camera work on the outer movements is puzzlingly distant, but the 2nd movement (which is the showpiece anyway) has a nice close view. That’s worth watching to see the fingerings on all those passages of multiple stops and tricky arpeggiation.
• Zoltán Kodály, Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8
The copyright status is really weird on this score. Please use your best judgement when downloading, or simply watch the YouTube video with score.
I believe this is Yo-Yo Ma with score added. It is spectacular playing.
For a great contrast, and to see exactly how all those hair-raising (and occasionally consciousness-raising) passages work, watch the Janos Starker version. Caution, occasionally idiotic camera work.
ADDITIONAL SCORE STUDY (optional)
• Eugène Ysaÿe, Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 28
Excellent virtuoso interpretation by Nicolas Deletaille
• Paul Hindemith, Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 25, no. 3
Youthful fireball Stephane Tetreault delivers intense reading
And have a listen to Prokofiev’s Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 134 (no IMSLP score as yet)
Compose a work for unaccompanied cello using the following parameters:
- 2-3 minutes in length
- focus on lyricism and strong craft
- avoid overusing any one technique
- compose in your own artistic voice and idiom (such as film, concert, crossover, etc.)
- consider that this work may be read and possibly performed
- progress the scoring approaches from Lesson 1:
- Bowing —> All forms of tone production (pizzicato, tremolo, sul C/G, sul pont/tasto, etc.)
- Melodic Phrasing —> Scoring to the strengths of the registers as defined by clefs
- Contrasts of register —> ditto above, also individualising strings
- don’t overdo the virtuosity and write to both your strengths and the cellist’s
LEARNING TENOR CLEF
Try this online note identification game if you need to brush up on your tenor clef reading.
Formulas: lines – DFACE; spaces – “Every Good ‘Bonist Doesn’t”
Or just think your way up or down the right distance from the C line