Etudes, studies, methods Share This Here are some cello books that I recommend. The books span different levels, from beginning through advanced. This is only a start. Check back periodically for more books. The links point towards sheetmusicplus. It became the most popular violin method in Germany.
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His book begins with Romberg, and ends with modern cello music and cellists up to the mid twentieth century. If you are looking for a copy, it is out of print, but you may possibly find a used copy at Montagnana Books. During the first decades of the 19th century, the art of the violoncello developed markedly in several German towns. This was closely linked,to the development of music in general, of operatic, symphonic and chamber music in particular, of professional music education, as well as to the appearance of conservatoires in Germany.
Romberg, then at the height of his creative activity, also undoubtedly exercised a certain influence. The feudal disunity of the country had a negative impact not only on its economic, social and political life, but also on its national cultural development.
At the same time, the fact that there were many royal and princely courtsvith excellent music chapels was objectively conducive to the early development of music and musical practice in different towns.
That occurred against a background of military events Germany was often at the center beginning with Napoleonic invasions and ending with the Franco-Prussian war, and a background of great revolutionary changes-the and bourgeois revolutions.
Foreign musicians Czech, Italian, French also played a definite role during the 19th century in the development of the German music, particularly the violoncello. But with national self-awareness heightened, and with the democratization of its music, the particularity of advanced German art and its base in folk origins, in the achievements of the great German musicians of the past Bach, Telemann, Handel, Haydn and of the moment Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Wagner became more apparent.
Progressive esthetic views of outstanding musicians like Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Berlioz had a very positive impact on overcoming the superficiality of the salon and empty virtuosity in performing art, not only in Germany, but in Europe as a whole. The 18th century classical works, as well as those of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and their contemporaries were more often included in the repertoires of the most prominent 19th century performers. At the same time, from the beginning of the second half of the century, questions of the artistic interpretation of this music became increasingly prominent.
Simultaneously, the advanced performers, including violoncellists, were greatly attracted to chamber music, especially quartets. This helped to ennoble musical taste and developed a sense of style. It was accompanied, of course, by the struggle between different tastes and trends, a struggle by the advanced musicians for profound content of art, against middle-class conventionality and artistic shallowness. The court chapel, already famous in the 18th century when Johann Hasse was court opera composer, also attracted excellent musicians later.
Carl Maria von Weber headed the royal opera house from Between and , the illustrious Polish violinist Karol Lipinsky was concertmaster there. There are sufficient grounds to speak about the Dresden violoncello school of the 19th century, its outstanding representatives being Justus Johann Friedrich Dotzauer and Friedrich August Kummer, with Friedrich Wilhelm GrUtzmacher the leading light of the second half of the century.
Because of these masters and their pupils, as well as their pedagogical works which-were used so extensively then, the significance of this school goes far beyond Germany.
His father was a local pastor and an ardent music-lover. In his childhood Justus played the piano, violin and cello. Bach-instructed Dotzauer in music theory and elementary composition. The young musician also took lessons on the double-bass, the French horn and clarinet. At the age of fifteen, he had already played the violoncello variations by Ignac Joseph Pleyel at the Hildburghausen court concert.
After choosing the cello as his prime focus, Dotzauer left for Meiningen in and continued his studies there under the then famous German violoncellist and concertmaster of the ducal chapel Krigck-a pupil of Jean Duport. Two years later, Dotzauer was admitted to the Meiningen court chapel.
There he stayed until , when he left for a Leipzig chapel. Dotzauer remained in Leipzig until , and with Matthei, Campagnioli and Voigt he formed a quartet which won great acclaim. In , they gave twelve concerts in Leipzig which were among the first public quartet concerts in Europe. The famous German violinist and composer also appreciated him as a concert-soloist. While he was in Leipzig, Dotzauer played in the Gewandhaus orchestra until Although these were evidently only occasional lessons, the playing of the great master, then at the height of his world fame, made a huge impression on young Dotzauer and influenced his performing style, which his contemporaries praised for its combination of "solidity and grace," expressiveness and technical skill.
After being appointed to the post of royal chamber musician in Dresden in , Dotzauer gave a farewell concert in Leipzig. Dotzauer played in the Dresden chapel for forty years from until as principal violoncellist , taking part in symphonic and operatic performances. For a number of years after he played there under Carl Maria von Weber and later under Richard Wagner. When in Hector Berlioz was invited to two concerts in Dresden, he found the Dresden orchestra in its full flower.
Effusively praising the Dresden chapel, Berlioz wrote: "Besides the outstanding artists whom I have already named, there is the excellent professor Dotzauer. He leads the violoncellists, but is simultaneously responsible for the performance of the first desk basses, as the double-bassist playing next to him is too old Quite often, Dotzauer performed in solo recitals and as a chamber musician, a member of the quartet featuring Limberg, Schmidel, Peschke and himself.
From time to time the violoncellist toured in other towns of Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. He died in Dresden on March 6, Dotzauer successfully combined a concert and teaching career. Dotzauer in Kassel. Dotzauer was no ordinary composer-he wrote an opera Graziosa , several masses, symphonies, overtures, and chamber compositions. But they lost their artistic significance. This is also true of most of his cello works, which comprise nine concertos, three concertinos, the Double concerto for two cellos , sonatas, fantasias, variations, divertissements and pot-pourris -so popular at the time, especially in teaching.
Many amateur musicians of the first half and of the middle of the last century made extensive use of the collections of operatic arias arranged by Dotzauer for cello with the bass part in the s he published six of these collections which are among the earliest violoncello transcriptions.
The cellist tried to embody his long years of performing and teaching experience in numerous etudes, exercises and methods. He compiled The Violoncello Method Op. The Violoncello Method Op. This material is primarily schematic and is of little interest from the musical point of View, although the cello part is accompanied by a second cello, which makes it slightly more musical and helps develop the habit of ensemble playing.
As he tries to cover various kinds of technique, the author is not always very consistent in the pattern of the exercises; as he is unable to provide sufficient material for practicing one specific skill, he relies on the teacher and on an additional list of recommended pedagogical literature. Especially attentive to the freedom of the right hand, Dotzauer was basically correct in evaluating the role of the other parts of the arm, and tried to encourage natural movements throughout the whole length of drawing the bow.
The position of the left hand is also close to the contemporary- specifically violoncello. Besides his etudes and capriccios, in the list of additional recommended literature Dotzauer gives the Method of the Paris Conservatoire and the Method of Duport At the same time, in some respects Dotzauer takes an independent course.
As far as shifts of positions are concerned, he comes very close to the principles of Davydov, who was the first to systematize in his Method the development of this important technical device in the sense of expressiveness. Dotzauer thought portamento not suitable for tutti, but suitable for solo concert music, in which case it "could produce quite a pleasant effect. In the fingering of scales he gives alternate fingering with and without open strings he is a step ahead compared to Romberg, although not yet at the level of Davydov.
Dotzauer presents three alternate fingerings for the C Major scale, the second of which is rhythmical and the third-with the thumb -absolutely outdated. In the Method there is material to help develop the technique of double stops including fourths and fifths and as a rare example for the cello, the octaves played with "Fingersatz": 9 -3; Dotzauer gives the rich scale of embellishments ornamentation its due place. Vibrato is also included.
Much attention is given to bowing, with three main strokes differentiated. The first one is the long stroke semibreve notes in slow tempo for which he recommends "economy" of the bow and performance of each long note crescendo and diminuendo.
The second stroke is "wave-like," performed by the hand on two or more alternating legato strings. The third one is a short and emphasized stroke. He advises to play the strokes upbow, when it is easier and more natural to play them downbow, and vice versa.
Dotzauer considers about stroke combinations and introduces a visual schematic table of strokes. Here, dotted strokes and various kinds of arpeggios are of great interest. Of the specific strokes, Dotzauer emphasizes staccato on one bow motion. In his Practical Method he writes about a spiccato stroke, which he is more tolerant of than was Romberg. Dotzauer considered tonal power and purity extremely important. He evidently was very concerned that the sound be warm, with vibrato he calls it tremolo , though in the Method he links its application only with the "sustained sounds.
Differentiating between the sound requirements of a soloist and an orchestral or chamber musician, Dotzauer wrote: "When overcoming the most difficult passages seems to be a brilliant achievement, infinitely superior is the merit of producing a beautiful tone and the ability to play melodiously; the sound of the noblest instrument approaching the human voice remains an incontestable example and model for every musician.
He vulgarly insults good taste. Demanding that a violoncellist have complete command of the instrument and knowledge of harmony, he speaks about the correspondence of the sound force to the "main effect," about the submission of the accompaniment to the solo singer.
Dotzauer distinguished the "simple recitative," in which the cellist only supported the declamation of the singer, from the "obligato recitative" in which the orchestral instrument played an independent role. The Practical Method comprised four books of etudes and exercises in order of progressively growing difficulty: "Elementary teaching and eighteen progressive exercises" for beginners with the accompaniment of a second cello ; "Twenty etudes and scale-like exercises in the first positions" containing material for practicing finger technique, shifts and bowing ; "Twenty duets with the thumb" the last three are of virtuoso character and "Twenty-four daily etudes to achieve virtuosity" double stops, cadenza-like passages and various complicated strokes are employed.
The Method of Playing Harmonics includes the methods of this device, double stops, scales and exercises in harmonics, plus an additional section on pizzicato played by the left hand.
Almost all prominent German violoncellists and pedagogues wrote exercises of this type, trying to make a sort of compendium of exercises covering different techniques and helping to preserve and develop them. But as time went by, the rational and differentiated use of this kind of manual evolved into formal daily playing of all exercises without an intelligent selection of the most suitable of them for each individual musician at a definite stage of his education.
By the end of the last century, in German teaching of the violoncello, such use of "daily exercises" often led to formalism, to substitution of the nurturing of an artist by the training of a professional dabbler. Only a year later-also in Leipzig- by Breitkopf and Hertel the suites. But neither Probst nor Dotzauer call them suites. He seems somewhat hesitant about the definition of their musical and instructive character.
Kummer Like Dotzauer, Friedrich August Kummer made his name in violoncello history as a talented performer, teacher and author of many teaching compositions for the cello. He was born on August 5, in Meiningen, the son of an oboist. When the boy was very young, his father was invited to the Dresden court chapel, and the family moved to Dresden.
When Dotzauer began his career there in , Kummer, who had previously studied oboe, became a pupil of his. According to Franqois-joseph Fetis, the young cellist took several lessons from Bernhard Romberg, who frequently appeared in concert in Dresden. A year later, he was admitted to the Dresden chapel, but because there was no violoncello vacancy, he entered as an oboist first. Carl Maria von Weber, who arrived in Dresden to supervise the glorious royal opera house, became very interested in the young musician, and Kummer was appointed a violoncellist in the theatre orchestra in In , he succeeded Dotzauer as principal violoncellist in the court chapel, and remained there until his retirement in when his 50th anniversary was festively celebrated.
Kummer died on August 22, , in Dresden. After visiting the Dresden Opera in , Alexander Serov wrote delightfully about its orchestra, noting that "the famous Kummer was at the violoncello. He also won acclaim in Vienna, Prague, Milan, Copenhagen and other cities.
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Violoncello Method Op. 60