Playing the Cello, 1780-1930
This innovative study of nineteenth-century cellists and cello playing shows how simple concepts of posture, technique and expression changed over time, while acknowledging that many different practices co-existed. By placing an awareness of this diversity at the centre of an historical narrative, George Kennaway has produced a unique cultural history of performance practices. In addition to drawing upon an unusually wide range of source materials - from instructional methods to poetry, novels and film - Kennaway acknowledges the instability and ambiguity of the data that supports historically informed performance. By examining nineteenth-century assumptions about the very nature of the cello itself, he demonstrates new ways of thinking about historical performance today. Kennaway’s treatment of tone quality and projection, and of posture, bow-strokes and fingering, is informed by his practical insights as a professional cellist and teacher. Vibrato and portamento are examined in the context of an increasing divergence between theory and practice, as seen in printed sources and heard in early cello recordings. Kennaway also explores differing nineteenth-century views of the cello’s gendered identity and the relevance of these cultural tropes to contemporary performance. By accepting the diversity and ambiguity of nineteenth-century sources, and by resisting oversimplified solutions, Kennaway has produced a nuanced performing history that will challenge and engage musicologists and performers alike.
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Notes and Abbreviations
The Left Arm and Hand and Scale Fingerings
The Bow in Motion
Playing with Expression Portamento
Playing with Expression Vibrato
Vibrato and Portamento in Early Cello Recordings
The Manly Cello?
Gender in Action Performing the Cello
Conclusions and Speculations
Other editions - View all
Alexanian Anon Baillot bars Beethoven Bernhard Romberg Bohrer bow-stroke Breitkopf & Härtel C.F. Peters Carl Fuchs Casals cellists Cello Concerto cello methods chromatic scale Conservatoire Crome David Popper Davidoff détaché Dotzauer Duport edition Example exercises expression Fantaisie Friedrich Grützmacher gender Grützmacher Gunn harmonic Harmonicon Heinrich Grünfeld historical historically informed performance Hugo Becker Ibid instrument Kronold Kummer l’archet le violoncelle left hand Leipzig Lindley Mainz masculine matrix melody Méthode de violoncelle modern movement nineteenth century notation notes octave open string Orchestra passage performance practice piano Piatti player playing Popper portamento position posture Recorded Cello scale fingerings Schott fils Schott’s Söhne Schumann Servais Servais’s shifts slurred solo sonata spiccato Squire Squire’s staccato Straeten style suggest Swert tail-pin technique theme thumb tone trans Träumerei tutors un-named pianist up-bow staccato variation Vaslin vibrato violin violinists violoncelle Paris Violoncello London Violoncellschule W.H. Squire wrist