Cello - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
Arts and Entertainment

Wigmore Hall, London

Album review: William Sweeney, Tree O' Licht (Delphian)

The cello is key to the music of William Sweeney, something that becomes luminously apparent in these works showcasing the skills of Robert Irvine, either solo or partnered by pianist Fali Pavri or second cellist Erkki Lahesmaa. Inspired by Gaelic psalm-singing, the title track features the two cellists' lines intertwining like a double helix: the effect resembles a lower-register "Lark Ascending", until a pungent dischord appears, prompting more disparate progressions. "Sonata for Cello and Piano" offers an intriguing combination of exploration and introspection. But "The Poet Tells of His Fame" is the standout performance, Irvine playing over pre-recorded cello samples treated to give a series of tonal washes, whines and textures.

John Tavener at Bridgewater Hall as part of Manchester International Festival

Classical review: John Tavener, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester International Festival

Very occasionally a performance is so special that the audience feels reluctant to shatter the moment which hangs in the air between them and the musicians with something as profane as applause. So it was at the concert of music by Sir John Tavener at the Manchester International Festival which contained no fewer than three world premieres by the great man as he approaches his 70th birthday.

Album review: Christian Wallumrod Ensemble, Outstairs (ECM)

Somewhere in the intersecting corridors of jazz, modernist composition, Scando-folk and early church music, there’s a small interior chamber that’s not quite silent, and this is what you’ll find there.

Album review: Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld, Still Smiling (Specula)

Blixa Bargeld's collaboration with Italian composer Teho Teardo finds him in fine fettle on a group of typically sardonic songs set to unusual string and electronic arrangements performed with The Balanescu Quartet.

Maurice Gendron, who died in 1990

Famous cellist was abusive monster, says former pupil

Maurice Gendron, who taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School, was allegedly a sadist who abused his young students

Carla Bruni, Little French Songs (Decca)

Album review: Carla Bruni, Little French Songs (Decca)

“When life goes wrong,” advises Carla Bruni, “try for a little French song” – commending their ability to transport one to Paris. With simple guitar accompaniment akin to ukelele, it's warmly welcoming, and entirely indicative of the mood of Little French Songs as a whole.

Victor Kissine, Between Two Waves (ECM New Series)

Album review: Victor Kissine, Between Two Waves (ECM New Series)

The Russian composer Victor Kissine's work has been accurately described as possessing a “reticent musical language”, a characteristic skilfully demonstrated by Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Baltica on this album of three chamber-music premieres.

Album: Messaien/Saariaho, The Edge of Light - Gloria Cheng/Calder Quartet (Harmonia Mundi)

A third composer hovers, ghost-like, in pianist Cheng's beguiling recital with the Calder Quartet.

Album review: Alisa Weilerstein, Daniel Barenboim, Elgar, Carter: Cello Concertos (Decca)

Virtuosi seem to know what they must do from an early age: in Alisa Weilerstein's case, her first “cello” was made from a cereal box and a toothbrush, when she was just two. Since then, she's played with conductors such as Mehta, Dudamel and, here, Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

Album review: A Fine Frenzy, Pines (Virgin)

A Fine Frenzy is the nom-de-disque of Californian singer-songwriter Alison Sudol, whose gently keening vocals invoke a strain of Pacific coastal wyrdness.

Album review: Philip Higham, Britten: Suites for Solo (Cello Delphian)

In homage to Bach, Benjamin Britten originally planned to write six cello suites for his friend Rostropovich, but was able to complete only three before his death in 1976.

Collaborator: Harvey, centre, with the conductors Ilan Volkov, left, and Stefan Solyom

Professor Jonathan Harvey: Composer whose work spanned electronic and church music

He was a gifted cellist, and his work remained rooted in the practicalities of performance

Album: Snow Palms, Intervals (Village Green)

Better known as one-third of post-rockers State River Widening, David Sheppard here collaborates with producer Chris Leary as Snow Palms, a percussion-based unit whose creations owe much to the mallet music of Steve Reich, Moondog and Indonesian gamelan orchestras.

Album: Antonio Pappano, Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 'From The New World'; Cello Concerto (EMI Classics)

Partnered here with the following year's "Cello Concerto" , Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 has a broad-brush scope and panache that lends itself perfectly to the detailed, focused approach of Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Their interpretation raises new questions: Dvorák may have claimed negro and Native American influences on the work, but reflecting the tendentious ascription of "New World", here it's more the pioneer spirit that infuses the symphony, with its widescreen strings anticipating a century of Western movie vistas, and its can-do bustle suggestive more of colonising settlers than natives. And isn't that the cavalry summoned by those horns?

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week