Solo Recital at Marlboro College


I presented a solo cello recital at Marlboro college featuring a new work by Matan Rubinstein, composer and professor of music at Marboro, with whom I play regularly in the Slipstream Ensemble. The piece consists of 5 inserts which are intended to be played in between the 6 movements of the 4th Suite for Unaccompanied cello by JS Bach. Matan described the piece as follows:

"The best way to explain my thinking of Five Inserts involves architecture; I think of the piece, in a way as a modernist building standing between older ones on a city street. Reflecting Through its glass panels those older, ornate facades of its neighbors, that building represents a disruption of the edifices surrounding it, an exploitation of their grace as foil for its own surface. The new building needs those adjacent ones for its one integrity, forcing a dialogue with the old by virtue of their physical proximity

Five Inserts functions both as a disruption of Bach's Suite in E-flat and as a partner in a dialogue it never required. The piece creates a series of respites, designed to contrast with the highly uniform dance forms of the Suite; where the dance forms are highly regulated, the Inserts are freeform. Like those neighboring facades refracted by glass panels, each of the Inserts borrows from the movements surrounding it, offering echoes of the preceding, and foreshadowing of the proceeding movements."

It was an incredible challenge performing this work as the Suite in E-flat is already an extremely physically demanding piece without the added effort of the Inserts. In performance, I felt more comfortable as I got further into it. The result was rewarding and I look forward to performing it again. Here is the recording, (please listen with headphones or good speakers, as it sounds pretty bad through a computer).

I followed the 5 Inserts with a short piece written for me by Adam Rudolph called Poetic Moments, which is partially improvised and was designed to smoothly segue into Indian classical music, which is how I performed it, ending the concert with a short presentation of a traditional Benarsi dadra in Bhairavi.

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