The True Story of Cello Concerto You Didn't Know About

The cello is an indispensable alto and bass instrument in an orchestra. Its sound is warm and dense, full of human touch, and its shape is noble and elegant. Among musical instruments, she enjoys title "handsome man". Discover true history of cello concertos written by Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Haydn.

Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major exists in more than 20 editions. Who is guilty?

Haydn is said to have written five cello concertos in his lifetime, but score of third has not yet been found, and there is not sufficient evidence that fourth and fifth are works by Haydn. We can say for sure that Haydn has only two of them: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major and No. 2 in D major. No. 1 in C major was opened only in 1960s, and second half of third movement was completed by famous Czech cellist David Popper.

Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor, and Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor are collectively known as Three Great Cello Concertos, written around 1783. Composed by Haydn for a friend and student, cellist Anton Kraft, who has been working in orchestra of Duke of Esterhazy for 12 years. The manuscript was lost after its publication in 1810 and was not discovered in Vienna until 1950s, where it is now in State Library in Vienna, Austria.

Shuman went crazy and couldn't jump into a river just to edit a cello concerto?

Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor is actually a symphonic concerto in which three movements are played continuously. People have always considered that ability to play this concerto well is one of important signs of a cellist's artistic maturity.

For a long time, it seemed to people that some of techniques of performing Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor were too complicated, some of rhythmic arrangements were not reasonable enough, and many music critics even directly said that some phrases of work sounded like gibberish, and there were problems with orchestration. .. The reason is "madness" of Schumann! This is true?

Why was Cello Concerto not published or publicly performed until 1854? As Schumann continued to revise it until he finally got close to publication in February 1854, Schumann's physical health began to fail and he began to hallucinate, which worsened and eventually escalated into autism and a suicide attempt. Schumann revised and corrected this concerto day and night. Many scholars who study Schumann believe that it was during this period that he made most corrections and adjustments to second and third movements. Schumann tried to stay awake, working hard, but it was all in vain. During this period, he once jumped into Rhine to commit suicide, but was fortunately saved by a boatmancom and later sent to a psychiatric hospital in Bonn. died two years later in a psychiatric hospital.

Schumann did indeed suffer from mental illness, which only slowly began to manifest itself in February 1854. The exact time of creation of Cello Concerto in A minor is from September 10 to 24, 1850. Schumann was at that time absolutely sober and normal, not at all like creation of a madman, as many people think! It, on contrary, shows preciousness of music! Compared to other works by Schumann, this cello concerto describes to people last period of Schumann's life. Whether he is sick or joyful, whether he is accepted or not, he exists objectively and tells people story of Schumann!

Dvořák hurt his friend because of his first love, because of "Cello Concerto in B Minor"?

Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor was composed just between November 8, 1894, and February 5, 1895. At time, Dvořák was living in United States and came to visit on his way back to New York State. Niagara Falls. “Wow,” exclaimed composer, “what a symphony in B minor!” This is source of inspiration for this magnificent cello concerto.

It is not difficult to find that some of these passages have traces of American folk musical material, but overall concept of work still describes Dvorak's life experience and difficult emotional experience of living in a foreign land in recent years - there will be a strong optimistic attitude, nostalgia and concern for Motherland, condolences to departed father and girlfriend, who, unfortunately, passed away.

Dvořák's first love was one of his students, beautiful 16-year-old Josephine Chermakova, daughter of a Prague jeweler. Josephine was dedicated to vocal divertissement Pine and Cypress, based on love poems. Unfortunately, after 8 years of love at a distance, Josephine never accepted Dvorak's love, which upset him very much. Later, Dvorak transferred his feelings to Josephine's sister Anna Anna (Anna Chermakova) and entered into a happy marriage.

First love is always unforgettable, and Dvořák's rejection of Josephine is reflected in music of Cello Concerto No. 2 in B minor. In second part, full of warmth and singing, Dvořák specially wrote author's song "Leave me alone op.82" (Leave me alone op.82) to express his concern about a serious illness in his native city. same time memory of love that made it unforgettable.

And Dvorak made major changes to third part of dance style, including because of Josephine. When this movement was completed, Dvořák had already returned to his hometown. He originally wanted to use it to express excitement of being reunited after a long absence and to cry for joy when he set foot on his hometown again. Therefore, music deftly used African-American spiritual melodies and rhythms of bohemian dances. But at that moment he heard news of tragic death of his first love, Josephine.With strong feelings, Dvorak decided to rewrite final part of third movement. Based on Josephine's favorite song "Leave Me Alone" written for her by Dvořák, he expanded musical idea from 8 bars to 60 bars. This melody is one of emotional cores of whole song, and also reason why Dvořák changed his first work, despite many years of friendship between his friends.

Originally, premiere of Cello Concerto No. 2 in B minor was supposed to be performed by Dvořák's friend, then cellist Hanus Wihan of Czech String Quartet. However, when Hanus Weihan received piece, he suggested a modification by adding a cadenza part for cello to third movement, and part he changed turned out to be one that Dvořák wrote most emotionally for Josephine. is it a search for excitement? Dvořák unexpectedly expressed firm resistance. His attitude and reactions were stronger than people knew about him. Disagreements between them led to fact that Ganus Vihan could not participate in premiere of work.

Dvořák's Cello Concerto No. 2 in B minor is not his only cello concerto. There is also a Cello Concerto No. 1 in A major, completed in 1865, which was written for his friend— — Composed by cellist Ludwig, it belongs to early experience and is not widely used in concert practice. The famous Czech cellist Milos Sadlo, trying his best to restore original look of work, played No. 1 in A major with Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague in 1974, and later Ramon Jaffe, Janis Laurs, Alexander Rudin and other cellos. Everyone has a record of this work.

Don't we hear Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme?

The German cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (1848-1890) taught at Moscow Conservatory and met Tchaikovsky, who asked Tchaikovsky to write a piece for cello for him. Although Tchaikovsky had written many works before this, this was first and only time he wrote a large-scale solo work for cello. In 1876, Tchaikovsky completed "Variations on a Rococo Theme", composed of a theme and eight variations, which were dedicated to his friend Fitzgernhagen, and held premiere.

After that, Fitzgernhagen put forward some of his own proposals for "Variations on a Rococo Theme" and wanted to make certain changes to them. Tchaikovsky readily agreed when he learned of this, and said in a letter to Fitzenhagen, "You are free to make any changes to this piece." But DangchaiKowski was extremely unhappy when he saw revised version and angrily accused: "Look at good work of this idiot! Everything has been changed!"

In fact, Fitzgernhagen made relatively large changes to Rococo Variations, and also made relatively large adjustments to dynamics, points, and structure of piece. Of original eight variations, Fitzgernhagen removed last and seventhmoved riation to place of third variation, moved original cadence to end of music along with third and fourth variations, and integrated some fragments of removed eighth variation with some material of fourth variation at end of music.

Tchaikovsky's original version focuses more on music creation, inner emotional expression and style expression, while Fitzrnhagen's adapted version focuses more on performance effects and performance skills. This piece of music was first performed by cellist Fitzrnhagen at Third Symphony Concert of Russian Musical Society in Moscow in 1877 and was warmly received by public. Because music fully reveals cello's exquisite performance abilities and rich expressive charm, it is also popular with cellists from all over world. After listening to this work, Liszt exclaimed: “Look, I finally heard music again!” The words "Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme" are specially engraved on Tchaikovsky's epitaph, indicating its important place in many of Tchaikovsky's works.

The "Rococo Variations" that everyone has been hearing for decades is actually Fitzrnhagen's adaptation, and original Tchaikovsky's "Rococo" is rarely performed.