Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thirteen Cellos

I love music for the cello, but before last night I had always thought that meant cello solos, various chamber works, concertos or the wonderful solo moments for cello in works for Symphony Orchestra like Von Suppe's famous Poet and Peasant Overture. Last night I had a new cello experience - 'Thirteen Cellos' playing as a group. I have to thank my friend Jim Edminster for inviting me to join him and some friends at a concert given by the Oakley Street Cello Ensemble. It was a cold winter night but the location, the Viaduct Theater, was both warm and convenient as a site for a wonderful concert that blended some of my favorite pieces (in new arrangements) with some that were new to me. Two of those new pieces were among the best of the evening, Hoy Mondongo by Michael O'Brien and DMO by Shirl Jae Atwell. The familiar tunes ranged from Leroy Anderson and Maurice Ravel to Simon & Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair. I enjoyed the arrangements of several of the pieces by Michael Yannell, who was also one of the cellists. The group acquiesced to the crowds' delight with an encore pizzicato version of Jingle Bells. It was a night which will linger in my memory as thirteen cellos and their melodic strains reverberate in my dreams.

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