Masterclass: Natalie Clein on Haydn Cello Concerto in D major

NatalieClein

The cellist discusses the improvisational freedom, humour and joy that are central to her own interpretation of the first movement of this popular audition piece

For me Haydn expresses musical joy, human warmth and humour more than any other composer. This concerto speaks, sings and dances, and it is so beautiful in its lyricism. He wrote it for the cellist Anton Kraft, who enjoyed wowing people with his virtuosic skills high up the fingerboard, and it’s one of the first important pieces in our repertoire to use thumb position. When I first performed it, as a teenager, I had this sense that I was flying above the orchestra, and I wanted to make the audience members feel that they were flying too. Nowadays I often teach it for many hours a week, but I never get bored: Haydn’s endless inventiveness means there is always something new to discover and smile about. I also enjoy experimenting with a Classical bow and gut strings, and find it enlightening to translate my discoveries to my modern set-up…

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