Student resources : Get to know your cello repertoire:

Featured piece: Schumann Cello Concerto

Schumann was one of the most important composers on the 19th century. In addition to composing symphonies and concertos, Schumann is recognized today as one of the great masters of song. In 1840 alone, he wrote more than 130 of them many of which were love songs. Throughout his life, Schumann struggled with his emotions and inner world. In mid-40s, Schumann’s symptoms had progressed to include auditory hallucinations. In 1854, Schumann attempted suicide by jumping into the Rhine River. After being rescued, he entered an asylum at his own request, remaining there until his death in 1856 at the age of 46

Before listening to the concerto watch a wonderful short film about Robert Schumann made by one of the greatest cellist today Steven Isserlis. The film has several episodes which you can find online. Here I include part 1 of the film but I encourage you to watch the whole thing. After watching the film , listen to the concerto and follow with a Master Class of Steven Isserlis. Your comments are very encouraged.

Film part 1

Schumann Cello Concert performed by Steven Isserlis ( first mvt)

Master Class with Steven Isserlis on Schumann Cello concert (first mvt)

Student Resources – Get to know your cello repertoire

Featured piece : Debussy Cello Sonata . Listen and comment below. When commenting try to answer what mood is the composer trying to illustrate in each of the movements, what imagery come to mind and what kind of atmosphere is being created.

Before you get started watch a short video about Impressionism period in music

Debussy sonata for cello and piano performed by Lynn Harrell and Victor Asunsion piano

Featured piece : Dvorak Cello Concerto in b minor – listen to the first movement ( till 16’33”) and comment below .

The Dvorak Cello Concerto is performed on this video by the world’s most renowned cellist of the 20th century Mstislav Rostropovich . He was known to his friends as “Slava”(second part of his first name and Russian for “glory”).

This is the greatest of all cello concertos. It was composed by Anthony Dvorak , Czech composer of Romantic period born in Bohemia / September 8, 1841; d. Prague, Bohemia / May 1, 1904. The Concerto was composed during Dvorak’s three-year term as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. At the time the composer was homesick for his beloved country which you can definitely hear in this piece.

Master Class with “Slava”on the Dvorak Concerto