Magazine article Strings

Quartets Anyone?

Magazine article Strings

Quartets Anyone?

Article excerpt

Quartets Anyone? New editions spotlight artful works for multiple cellos Cello (Phil) Vielharmonie by Roswitha Bruggaier. Breitkopf Kammermusik-Bibliothek, Breitkopf & Härtel, www.breitkopf.com, euro14.

THERE'S NOTHING QUITE LIKE THE SOUND of many cellos playing together. Recently, new arrangements of old favorites have become available in multicello arrangements-and they're great fun to play and hear.

In Cello (Phil) Vielharmonie, German cellist and teacher Roswitha Bruggaier has provided artful arrangements of 12 pieces for four to five cellos, most of which are familiar tunes-all of which are wonderful. Covering four centuries of music history, the pieces range from Gavottes by Michael Praetorius through Schubert, Beethoven, and Sibelius to the ever-popular "The Bare Necessities" by Terry Gilkyson. Intended for students, these arrangements allow the first and second cellists to play comfortably in first through fourth positions (and occasionally higher), while expecting the lower parts to remain rooted in first position. Most of the works are for four cellos, but a few add a fifth cello, which plays mostly at octaves with the fourth. This would be perfect for a student who craves independence, but perhaps is not quite ready for it.

As Bruggaier explains in her preface, "The arrangements in this book were all made for my ensemble 'Dr. Hoch's Philharmonische Cellisten,' which unites students of all ages from my cello class. Their ambitus corresponds more or less to that of a male chorus whereby the pieces are particularly well suited to the tenor and bass range, the cello's intrinsic compass. …

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