Monday, August 13, 2007


I don't usually do this, but I found the coolest CD over the weekend.

One of the things I love about studying an instrument is that my ears are becoming better and better at hearing music. I especially like to listen to other people play the things I am studying, or have played in the past. Ergo, I only began listening to cello concerti recently, in spite of my love for all things cello, as I felt them unobtainable in this lifetime.

On the other hand, most of the pieces within my grasp are not recorded, so at best I have the modeling of my teacher and playing friends to shape my sound concept. I personally think there is a huge market for quality recordings of student repertoire, and have been delighted to find a few more of those recently.

So my find - an album of "Children's" pieces recorded by Steven Isserlis (cello) and Stephen Hough (piano). It starts with a lovely Berceuse on open strings, and goes on in a graded fashion, including many Suzuki favorites as well as delightful pieces I had never heard before. I am totally pumped - I could play these! Well! Nothing like a beautiful and attainable goal to get the practice juices flowing.

For whatever reason, Amazon lists neither the table of contents nor musical clips for this album, so, suspecting that other of my readers might be interested, I'm listing the TOC here:

First Steps
1. Ludwig Lebel: Berceuse Orientale
2. Sheila Nelson: Mad as a Hatter
3. Alfred Earnshaw: Tarantella
Joachim Stutchewsky: Two Pieces from 'Six Isreali Melodies'
4. Kinnereth
5. Wanderer's Song

6. Adam Carse: A Merry Dance
7. Francis Purcell Warren: A Sunday Evening in Autumn
8. Francis Purcell Warren: Cradle Song
9. John Graves: The Swans Glide on the Bishop's Palace Moat
10. William Henry Squire: Danse Rustique
11. Luigi Boccherini (arr. Goltermann): Minuet
12. Gavin Bryars: With Miriam by the River
13. Arnold Trowell: Gavotte
14. Jean Sibelius: Lulu Waltz
15. George Dyson: Melody
16. Frank Bridge: Spring Song
17. Amy Beach: Berceuse
18. Gabriel Prosper Marie: La Cinquantaine
19. Georg Goltermann: La Foi

The Young Cellist
20. Francis Poulenc (arr. Gendron): Serenade
21. Joseph Tuby: Serenade
22. Gabriel Faure: Berceuse
23. David Popper: Gavotte Op. 23
24: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Song Without Words Op. 109
25. Gaspar Cassado: Requiebros

Gabriel's Corner
26. Howard Blake: Archangel's Lullaby
27. Olli Mustonen: Frogs Dancing on Water-Lillies
28. Stephen Hough: Angelic Song
29. Stephen Hough: Angelic Dance
30. Steven Isserlis: The Haunted House
(Narrated by Simon Callow)


cellodonna said...

Thanks for sharing this. Definitely worth looking into.

Erin said...

I love Steven Isserlis, he's such a neat and gracious person. I've seen him a couple times now, doing the Dvorak & Saint-Saens cello concerti. Just incredible, the man's bow arm looks like it's on air. If you ever get the chance, it's entirely worth it to see him if you can.

Then there's the time where I almost ran straight into him at work (Royal Festival Hall, he was rehearsing that day) because I was run-walking through the rain with a full cup of coffee and concentrating on not spilling it. He was lovely and just shared a laugh with me.