Masterclass: Johannes Moser on Brahms Cello Sonata no.1 op.38

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Cellist Johannes Moser takes a look at structure, character and speed, and explains why it is so important to honour the composer’s bowings, in the first and second movements of the E minor Sonata. From December 2017

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This sonata is filled with amazing artistry from the start: the opening melody,  set on the lowest string, is dark and sinister, with a sense of disquiet. It is one of my favourite pieces and I frequently teach it to my students in Cologne. However, many cellists do not pay enough attention to what is actually written on the page. There is nothing wrong with falling in love with a certain way of interpreting the music, but I think we need to remind ourselves what is subjective and what was the composer’s actual intention. Looking carefully at what Brahms wrote, rather than listening to recordings to guide our interpretations, leads us to see details that are often overlooked.

Click here to view the sheet music for this work in our digital edition

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