40 leichte Etüden für Violoncello

July 31, 2010

Recently my teacher, David, asked me to purchase a copy of Sebastian Lee's 40 Easy Etudes for Violoncello. The edition he requested the Bärenreiter one, and it is a beautiful book. The pages are thicker and have a wonderful cream color to them. It's so nice I a loathe to introduce penciled fingerings and other marginalia to it.

Tonight I sat down and started working through op. 70 Nº 1, which is filled with triplets and slurs. The piece is surprisingly beautiful and, given the patterns that are repeated, only has seven measures I need to learn. This feels like "big boy" music as it has no finger numbers and no courtesy accidentals as Suzuki volumes 1 and 2 do. That I was able to read the notes and associate them with fingerings from first position felt very good.

Experiences like tonight's are why I like playing the cello. I've always like solving puzzles and understanding how things worked, and to see my musical mind growing; to realize that I can basically sight read (albeit very slowly) an etude like this, is marvelous.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.