Lessons On the Baroque Cello and Coaching for Baroque Ensembles
A personal journey……..
I started playing the Baroque cello when I was living in London in the mid-70′s at the same time the Early Music movement was just getting underway with such luminaries as Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, Nicholas McGegan and Tony Pleeth. Reluctant at first, I eventually “converted” one of my cellos, restoring it to its original early 18th century fittings and sound. After several weeks working on the Baroque cello exclusively, I played a series of three recitals devoted to 17th and 18th century music. It was an experience I found both satisfying and exciting. But the big surprise came afterwards when I turned my attention once again to the “Modern” cello. I was astonished to see how playing the Baroque cello had expanded my technique on the “Modern” cello - and enhanced my performance of music from the 19th and 20th centuries. That was an unexpected bonus. From that time on I have incorporated the Baroque cello - and, later, the “Classical” cello - into what became a much larger concept of cello performance, playing concerts covering 300 years of cello music on instruments appropriate to each period.
Playing the Baroque cello opened up new areas of performance for me and gave me a much broader view of what it meant to be a cellist. Playing both Baroque and “Modern” cello enabled me to play the repertoire of all the periods - from Baroque through Classical, Romantic and Modern - with the instruments the composers had in mind.
Because of my own experience, I enjoy teaching Baroque cello to interested students - including those whose main interest is in playing the “Modern”cello - for the expanded techniques it helps them develop and the new avenues of musical expression it opens up.