Cello Repertoires

| March 10, 2011

Beginning Level

1) Classic and folk melodies edited by C. Krane

This book contains several pieces which have simple notes in the first position and several bowing techniques including legato, short staccato styles, and marcato bowing. Various works by Bach and Mozart, and folk songs are included, so cello beginners can practice not only baroque styles pieces but also the familiar melodies of folk styles.

2) My first progressive duets by D. Gazda and L. Clark

This book contains various kinds of songs by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Rossini, and traditional folk songs for cello duets, so cello beginners can experience famous classical works. Especially, this book has the theme of Surprise Symphony by Haydn, so students can practice staccato bowing and dynamics with a famous tune. Also, the last song, Ecossaise by Beethoven, has various bowing techniques such as accent, hooked bowing, staccato, and slur. All pieces can be played in the first position.

Intermediate Level

1) B. Marcello Cello Sonata in G major

Among cello sonatas by Marcello, Cello sonata in G major is a well-known work for intermediate cellists. This work consists of four short movements in the slow-fast-slow-fast order, so cellists would experience the basic musical form of baroque period through this piece. Most notes can be played in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions, so there are no great challenges in range or technique. There is a second cello part, so this piece can be played by two cellos.

2) J. B. Breval Cello Sonata in C major

This is a good solo piece for early intermediate cellists because of the enormous variety of articulations, rhythms, and ornaments that it involves. Usually, the first and second movements are widely used. The first movement has chords, slurred staccato, legato bowing, and left/right hand coordination. The second movement has a minuet form with a lot of light staccato sounds.

Advanced Level

1) R. Schumann 5 Stucke im Volkston (5 pieces in folk style), op. 102

This piece consists of five movements including Mit Humor, Langsan, Nicht schnell, mit viel Ton zu spielen, Nicht zu rasch, and Stark und markiert. The first movement has humorous tunes with light piano accompaniment while the second movement is like a sweet lullaby song with rocking rhythms in piano. The third movement uses a melancholy melody with difficult double stops on the cello solo. Different from other movements, this movement is played in the upper register. In the fourth movement, march rhythms on the cello solo are continuously repeated while the last movement has abrupt changing rhythms. Cello players could experience different romantic styles pieces in folk style with less challenging techniques.

2)  J. S. Bach Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello

The six suites for unaccompanied cello are the greatest cello solo works. Bach’s cello suites can be interpreted differently by different editions, so cellists are required to understand historical contexts to play these pieces. Also, Bach cello pieces would give cello musicians a chance to play baroque style music with baroque style bow hold and playing posture. Each suite contains six movements including Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Minuet or Gavotte, and Gigue, so cellists could play and express different styles of pieces in one suite. Because these suites were composed for unaccompanied cello, cellists are required to play with accurate intonation.