It was he who turned cello from an "accompanying instrument" into a "solo instrument".
For a long time, cello as a bass line was often depicted as a "accompanying instrument", and violin, which belongs to string group, shone day by day. The popularity of two instruments is not same AND language. In 18th century, forgotten cello gradually appeared. In 1741, French cellist Michel Crete wrote a book detailing playing skills and tuning methods of cello, which later became a solo instrument. foundation. By 1900, about 80 cello books had been published.
In work of late romantic masters Wagner and Richard Strauss, more and more "difficult orchestral works" for cello also appear. This is not only development of most western classical music, but also thanks to a group of cellists who were later called "Dresden School".
Dresden School, let cello become a solo instrument
They began to realize that they could start a successful solo career, like their contemporary violinists, and tried to improve and implement cello technology. Among successors of school, etudes and didactic plans for cello were written from generation to generation.
Each of them is both a performer and a teacher. For example, Bernhard Lomberg, a major influence, closely associated with Beethoven and praised as "Having one of most beautiful sounds". cello can do."
Lomberg's work also explains how to hold cello more easily and naturally, and helps players relax their shoulders and back (in past, they mostly sat hunched over). He learns well from strengths of others and innovates, such as once carefully studying techniques of other stringed instruments at court and transplanting them to cello.
Bernhard Lomberg (1767–1841)
Lomberg's student Friedrich Dutziauer, who studied with him from 1806, is considered true founder of Dresden cello school (on one hand, Dotziauer began his career in Dresden, on other hand, on other hand, he published a methodology for learning to play cello earlier than his teacher Lomberg). It has improved a more natural bow grip, which not only makes wrist and fingers more relaxed, but also optimizes sound.
Friedrich Dotsauer (1783-1860)
David Popper, Paganini cello
Dresden was one of most revered musical centers of 19th century, home to "Dresden School" cellists such as Friedrich Kummer, Julius Guttmann and others. He successively made important contributions to development of cello, including David Popper< /strong>, known as "King of Cello".
View of city of Dresden
Although he bears title "King of Cello", there are very few relevant documents about Poper in history, and even specific date of birth is not clear. The popularity of Nini and Liszt is incomparable. But it cannot be denied that he still remains an indispensable legend in history of cello. He rose to fame by replacing his cello teacher, Julius Guttmann. At that time, Popper replaced Gutmann in opening part of cello solo in opening of Rossini's opera "William Tell". The opera in film was at some point interrupted by loud applause."
David Popper (1843–1913)
However, who would have thought that Popel first learned to play violin. At age of 12, he planned to enter violin class of Prague Conservatory, but it was overbooked. So he started learning violin. cello Gutman.
Popel's outstanding technique won admiration of demanding music critics and conductors. Conductor Hans von Bülow called it a "promising future" after collaborating with him on completion of Robert Workman's Cello Concerto in A Minor.
New Music magazine, founded by Schumann, also published music reviews praising Popper. Schumann's own cello concerto performed by Popper was also highly acclaimed. In 1883, under baton of Anton Rubinstein, Popper performed his own concerto. Peterburgsky Vestnik noted: “His skill does not serve to improve himself, but Art to serve and adorn him...Only he can shake public’s indifference to cello performances and cause real applause in concert halls."
When it comes to teaching cello, Pope also has a long way to go. In May 1886, at kind invitation of Liszt, Popiel was appointed first professor of cello at Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest (Liszt died two months later), and also opened cello and chamber music courses. teaching and can always teach for three hours without getting tired. From 1895 to 1898, inspired by Wagner's music, Popper created Advanced Cello Course. This collection of 40 etudes is filled with a large amount of new material, expanding technique of playing cello both in a musical and complex sense, which was lacking in cello repertoire of that time.
Friendship and love in musical life
The excellent performance and level of teaching provided Popel with a high reputation in musical circles, and he made many musician friends. Brahms greatly admired him and they cherished each other, Brahms even invited Popper to take part in world premiere of his Piano Quartet No. 3.
At same time, relationship between Popper and Wagner is also very good, but Wagner and Brahms are a couple of "old enemies" in music, which puts Popper in a dilemma. There is an anecdote that once Popper had dinner at Wagner's house, Wagner said something negative about Brahms, Popper argued with him, insisting that Brahms was a musical genius. After that, Wagner never again invited him to visit.
Nevertheless, Popper still greatly admired Wagner and played Wagner's works. Few people know that Popiel was also one of founders of first official Wagnerian society.
Vienna Wagner Society, since 1873
In addition, Popper also helped Gustav Mahler, and it was he who actively lobbied for Mahler to be elected to post of director of Royal Opera House in Budapest and finally be awarded.
Arnold Roth, Mahler's brother-in-law and violinist, also said: “I am very grateful to Popper for recommending me to Hans Richter so that I could play in Gewandhaus Orchestra and thus gain recognition from Vienna Opera House. ."
In addition, Popel had a short marriage to one of Liszt's most valuable students, German pianist and composer Sophie Mentor. The dynamic playing style is even called "Liszt's incarnation".
After their marriage, Popiel and Mentor often traveled long distances and toured together, which also forced Popiel to give up work at Vienna Court Opera. They traveled to Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and other countries, achieved great touring successes. At same time, this experience enriched Popper's musical tastes, absorbed the essence of folk music from different regions, and made his creative style more diverse.
Sophie Mentor (1846-1918)However, marriage did not last long. In 1883, Mentor was invited to teach at St. Petersburg Conservatory, she considered it a great honor, but this led to a red light in relationship between them, and three years later their marriage broke up.
Teaching, composing, performing
Become a real "king of cello"
As a teacher, Popper is full of peaches and plums, and countless eminent cellists of early 20th century are his students, and he has carried on legacy of cello art around world. As a performer, he is known as "Paganini of world of cello", and is also considered last master who played without a foot. You should know that when cello first appeared, musicians put cello directly on ground and clamped it with their feet. Later, they realized that sound transmission effect of instrument above ground was better, so they used caviar to support instrument (as shown in picture below), until piano leg came along later.
In terms of composition, Popper is also very prolific and has written many pieces for cello. In addition to above-mentioned collection of studies, there are also 4 cello concertos and many beautiful and touching pieces.
We will be able to enjoy "Hungarian Rhapsody", "Concert Polonaise", "Suite for Cello Duet" and others at radio concert on October 27th.
There is one more piece I should mention, Requiem for three cellos. Pell's first publisher was Daniel Rattle. It was played again at Popiel's own funeral in 1913, marking slow end of an era in afterglow of Romanticism. Obituary reads: David Popper, world-renowned king of cello, has outstanding talent, a noble and sincere playing style, and deeply appeals to music lovers. The sound of Popper's piano cannot but remind of Sarasate, soft, energetic and saturated with noble colors.