The Grand Duo, Op. 15 is recorded. But before I could edit all the video and put a podcast episode together, this other opportunity presented itself. I can actually play music with a real person. Not just a little, fanciful soiree but rehearsing and recording. This is great because I now see how far along the music making has come.
German Dances (Seven, charming dances)
About a year ago I already had worked on these seven German Dances by Goltermann alone. They came as a delightful surprise. While I had hoped to play them with someone in the same room, I didn’t think I would do so for a long time in the future. Thankfully, that time of hopeful expectation has come much sooner than I thought!
Reminder of the “Forgotten Cello Music” Project
The reason for playing music that you have likely never heard of is two-fold. First, I love discovering and playing new music, bringing it to life. Second, it was a unique way to perform and contribute something valuable to the music world.
Each time I play a new piece it is akin to trekking through lands unknown to me. The thrill of hearing the character of the music never gets old. Ever since college I was drawn to the music that fewer people tended to perform. It started with well known composers but whose works were often overlooked or outright ignored. Grieg’s cello sonata may have been one of the first in this category. Then it continued with Fauré’s sonatas and so on.
This trend heightened to completely unknown music when IMSLP entered the playing field sometime in the 2000’s. I was hooked and soon found Goltermann’s Nocturnes and Tonbilder, Klengel’s Sechs Stücke and Caprice in Form einer Chaconne.
I soon become so enamored with the thought that there was ALL this amazing music for cellists to play that I left off playing much of the standard fare. Finally, about 6 years ago I began sporadically uploading things that related mostly to discovering Forgotten Cello Music.
Now, two years on, I have a fun project presenting lesser known and unplayed music to you.
Choosing the German Dances
Why choose those seven German Dances? One of the main reasons is that working together with another human requires a building up of report. These charming dances are each very short and relatively simple with straight-forward melodic lines. They provide good opportunity to learn the art of playing in harmony and in time with one another.
Each dance is a completely different mood. It is absolutely incredible to play through 7 distinct moods all while remaining in the style of a German Dance. The learning and growing in the developing of presentation is top notch. One gleans much by playing short works. Getting the timing right and the accuracy goes a long way in preparing for those Sonatinas and suites of character pieces, which all require a much broader plan to remain a cohesive unit.
A Unique Endeavor?
I hope you will enjoy the process of learning. I hope you will take this project of Forgotten Cello Music as service to cellists and the broader music community. It is, of course, not the first time someone has presented neglected music and not even in the field of cello! Mine is perhaps unique in that I do not excerpt an opus, choosing only the “best” numbers to represent a given composer. My goal is to show the whole picture. Whether you think the music is good or bad, interesting or boring is a personal opinion. It is my hope that cellists finally see that Goltermann’s German Dances and so much more is available for your performance pleasure.