A Met cellist remembers his orchestral epiphany

Another lovely story from the Met musicians website: James Kreeger recalls playing Barber’s Adagio in the 100-piece College of Strings more than half a century ago. Read here.

ormandy strings

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  • It was also a remarkable experience conducted in the same work by Mstislav Rostropovich. Even though he was not a huge fan of Barber’s (“I’m so mad at Sam. He NOT write me a cello concerto”) Slava poured his heart and soul into every note and into every phrase of this special string work. Slower paced than Ormandy’s, Slava made us use long legato bows and to use as beautiful and then intense vibrato as possible at the work’s climatic moment. All of this build up to a still vibrato and even sadder, darker tone to the end. The memories surrounding his painful exile on full display, Slava made us (musicians) realize, every time he conducted the Adagio, how great a musician he was and how important we all were in his life.

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