Chapter

Aladdin’s Lamp

Bernard D. Sherman

in Inside Early Music

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195169454
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865017 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169454.003.0012
Aladdin’s Lamp

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When the Baroque cello is mentioned, Anner Bylsma always comes up. Bylsma took up the Baroque cello in the 1960s, by which time he already had a distinguished career as a modern cellist. In the ferment of the early music scene of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, it was inevitable that Bylsma would be drawn to the early cello. That he still plays both instruments makes him a sharp observer of their differing challenges, and of current issues in their use. He also spoke about one of his favorite composers, Antonio Vivaldi. Vivaldi was the most influential Italian composer of his day, but serious musical thinkers often dismiss him. Bylsma, however, thinks that musicians play and hear Vivaldi wrong; he believes that the key to Vivaldi is his interest in depicting character. This point may reflect changes in musical aesthetics. The chapter presents an interview with Anner Bylsma on Vivaldi’s music and the cello, the style of Baroque cello playing, the use of rubato, vibrato and portamento, and the difference between French and Italian string-playing.

Keywords: Anner Bylsma; Baroque music; cello; Antonio Vivaldi; rubato; vibrato; portamento; early music

Chapter.  8170 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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