VIRTUOSO CELLO ENCORES
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VIRTUOSO CELLO ENCORESGaspar Cassado (1897-1966)
1) Dance of the Green Devil
David Popper (1843-1913)
2) Fantasy on Little Russian Songs, Op. 43
3) Serenade, Op. 54, No. 2
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
4) Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air (transcribed by Leonard Rose)
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
5) Standchen (Serenade) (transcribed by Henri Marteau)
Franz Schubert (1808-1878)
6) Die Biene (The Bee) (transcribed by Werner Thomas-Mifune)
Enrique Granados (1867-1916)
7) Goyescas: Intermezzo (transcribed by Gaspar Cassado)
Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)
8) The Gadfly, Op. 97: Tarantella (transcribed by Jusas Tschelkauskas)
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
9) Habanera (transcribed by Paul Bazelaire)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
10) 24 Preludes: No. 8 - The Girl with the Flaxen Hair (transcribed by L.-R. Feuillard)
Jean Baptiste Senaille (1687-1730)
11) Allegro spiritoso (transcribed by J. Salmon)
Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881)
12) Cantilena, Op. 48, No. 24 (transcribed by Jenő Hubay)
Siegfried Barchet (1918-1982)
13) Images de Menton: Boulevad de Garavan
Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)
14) Danse Bohemienne, Op.28
Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
15) Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 (transcribed by Leonard Rose)
George Gershwin (1898-1937)
16) Short Story (transcribed by Samuel Dushkin)
The violoncello, generally known in a nonsensicalabbreviation as the cello, developed as the bass instrumentof the violin family in the early sixteenth century. Itsemancipation began towards the end of the seventeenthcentury, when composers occasionally gave theinstrument freedom from the bass line. In Bologna at theBasilica of San Petronio, cellist-composers wrote solosonatas and concerto movements for the cello, while thenewly developed concerto grosso allowed occasionalvirtuosity, with a solo cello included in the group ofsoloists forming the usual concertino group. The newcentury brought full solo concertos for the instrumentfrom composers like Vivaldi in Venice, and from Bach inCothen a set of six suites for unaccompanied cello. Thecello continued to serve a double purpose, as an essentialcomponent of the basic string orchestra or the classicalstring quartet, with occasional excursions into virtuosity.
It was left to the nineteenth century to produce a series ofcellist-composers and composers for the cello, drawinginspiration from the compositions of the period for theviolin, and eventually providing a smaller but significantromantic repertoire.
Among the great cellists of the present century wasGaspar Cassado, who was born in Barcelona in 1897. Hestarted to learn the cello at the age of seven and two yearslater gave his first public concert. In 1910 he became apupil of Casals in Paris, where he was also influenced byRavel and his compatriot Manuel de Falla. In 1914 hereturned to Barcelona and there studied harmony andcounterpoint with his father during the war years,embarking on a career as a soloist with tours throughoutEurope and in South America in 1918. His Dance of theGreen Devil is a characteristic jeu d'esprit. Cassado diedin Madrid in 1966.
David Popper was a pupil of Goltermann at theConservatory in Prague, where he had been born in 1843,the son of the Prague Kantor. He started his virtuosocareer in 1863, working often with Hans von B??low. In1868 he became principal cellist at the Vienna CourtOpera and later joined the Hellmesberger Quartet. From1896 until his death in 1913 he taught at the BudapestConservatory. Popper wrote extensively for the cello,providing useful studies and seventy or so attractive salonpieces, in addition to more substantial concertos and aRequiem for three cellos and orchestra. His choice ofRussian melody for his Fantasy, Op. 43, allows aninteresting development of very characteristic materialand much technical display. The latter element finds aless obtrusive place in Popper's mellifluous Serenade,Op. 54, No. 2.
The famous Air on the G string owes its popular titleto the violinist August Wilhelmj. It is in fact the Air fromBach's D major orchestral Suite, where it is certainly notconfined to the G string. The present transcription forcello is by the distinguished American cellist LeonardRose.
Schubert's Standchen (Serenade) enjoys popularity inits original form, as a song, and also in a variety oftranscriptions. The song, a setting of a poem by Rellstab,was written in August 1828, three months beforeSchubert's death, and was published posthumously in thefirst volume of Schwanengesang. The Dresden composerFranz Schubert, born in that city in 1808, had just as muchright to his name as his more famous older contemporaryin Vienna. Named after his father, a double bass playerand composer, Franz Schubert studied for a time in Paris,where he became a friend of Chopin, but is probably bestremembered for one popular piece, Die Biene (The Bee).
Enrique Granados belongs to an earlier generation ofBarcelona composers than Cassado, who arranged theIntermezzo from the opera Goyescas for cello and piano.
The opera itself, the first Spanish opera ever to beperformed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, whereit was staged in January 1916, was derived musically froma set of piano pieces of the same title. The work wasinspired by the painting of Goya and is a story of loveand jealousy, ending in tragedy. Granados was drownedin the English Channel in 1916, when the ship he hadtaken from Liverpool was torpedoed, a misfortune hemight have avoided, had he not been detained in theUnited States to play for the President of that country andtherefore been obliged to sail on an English ship for thefinal stage of his voyage home.
Shostakovich wrote a considerable amount of musicfor films, from his score for New Babylon in 1929 tomusic in 1970 for King Lear. The Tarantella, a version ofthe energetic and restless Neapolitan dance, was writtenin 1955 for the folk festival scene in The Gadfly.
Ravel, Swiss by paternal ancestry and Basque throughhis mother, combined these two strains in a very Frenchsynthesis. His Habanera, well known in a number ofarrangements, was originally a piano piece, completed in1897 and making use of a Cuban dance-form popularisedby Yradier, a composer to whom Bizet was indebted in hisSpanish opera Carmen. Debussy, thirteen years Ravel'ssenior, resented comparison with his compatriot, whosestyle of composition was, in any case, generally verydifferent in character. The Girl with the Flaxen Hair waswritten as a piano piece, one of the first book of Preludes,written and published in 1910.
Jean Baptiste Senaille belongs to an earlier generationof French composers. The son of a member of the Frenchroyal orchestra, the 24 Violons du Roi, he succeeded hisfather in 1713, and from 1720 until his death in 1730remained in the royal service. His compositions consistprincipally of some fifty sonatas for violin and bassocontinuo, a number of them arranged for other soloinstruments in the eighteenth century and later.
Henri Vieuxtemps, known principally as one of thegreat violinists of the nineteenth century, wrote aconsiderable amount of music for his own use, concertos,salon pieces, fantasies and studies. One of his brotherswas a pianist and the other a cellist working at first at theItalian opera in London and then serving as principalcellist with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester. TheCantilena, true to its name, serves the cello very well.
Siegfried Barchet t