Masterclass: Natalie Clein on Haydn Cello Concerto in D major


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

Explore more Masterclasses  like this in The Strad Playing Hub

Read more premium content for subscribers here

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…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.