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In our quest for virtuosic brilliance and flair in our music making, as string players, sometimes we forget that coming back to basics is important for solving many problems in our playing and performance. Many people to get distracted by the complexities of a particular obstacle, or perhaps try and tackle too many problems at once, leading to a sensory overload. Or perhaps overcoming challenges in string playing is so overwhelming and anxiety-inducing that you don’t know where to start! 

Here to chat with online editor Davina in this episode is cellist Gabriel Schwabe, who is also a cello professor in Cologne and Maastricht. He advocates an awareness or ‘scanning’ of one’s playing and set-up, to pinpoint simple ways to solve problems and unlock one’s playing potential. He shares his favourite strategies, provides a few examples of how basic things have helped his playing and his students, as well as some useful exercises to stay on top of his playing. 

Read Gabriel’s Q&A on Bridge’s ‘Oration’ Cello Concerto and his listening guide on the piece.

IV: Allegro giusto

Bridge: Oration – Concerto elegiaco for cello and orchestra

Gabriel Schwabe, cello / ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Christopher Ward

NAXOS 8.574320

Photo credit: Studio Monbijou

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