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Cello Power Book 1

Thumb Position Duets for Two Cellos

By James Hook

Strings Cello
Thumb Position Duets for Two Cellos. Composed by James Hook (1746-1827). Arranged by Marion Feldman. SWS. Contemporary. Book. With Standard notation. 12 pages. Carl Fischer Music #BF122. Published by Carl Fischer Music (CF.BF122).

Item Number: CF.BF122

ISBN 9781491146262. 9 x 12 inches.

Cello Power is a series of books designed to be used to expand the cello students facility and knowledge of the instrument. The books are structured to focus on the advanced materials that appear in our cello literature. Most important are the exercises and my further recommendations on how to work on them. The process is first to digest the fundamental of each and thereby to enable one to build a solid technique in preparation for the difficult passagework ahead. An example are the double-stop excerpts, which are broken down into two-string bow patterns to aid in intonation and to clarify the spacing for the left hand. Books 1 and 2 are planned to fill the gap left vacant by lack of materials covering, in a progressive order, the transition from the introduction of the thumb position into a students studies and the work on the much more difficult application of this information into studies by Popper, Grutzmacher and Piatti. Of course, then there are the ensuing repertoire demands of the concertos of Dvo?ak and Saint-Saens and such like. Book 3 is aimed at developing a sure and secure technique and facility in the lower area of the cello. This includes material to help make the fifth, sixth and seventh positions less awkward for the student. The goal is to aid in the ability of the student to become more able to apply this technical comfort to the attainment of a more nuanced and emotionally fulfilling musical performance on the cello.
The James Hook duets were originally written for two baroque recorders. I knew the pieces from having played them on the recorder in my youth. They are charming baroque pieces which stay within a limited range of notes on the instrument. This led me to try to arrange them for cello. We cellists need this type of material, for there is very little material of this nature for the thumb position. I wrote them out using treble and tenor clef because much of the thumb position repertoire work is in either one of these clefs. The intermediate level cellist must become adept at reading and recognizing where in thumb position this material is played. The first cello part is on the A- and D-strings. This is a placement that enables familiarity with the most common area of performance in thumb position. The second cello part is written for performance on the D- and G-strings, which is less common but frequently used for notes in the lower range of the instrument. I would hope that the teacher, using this material, will expect the student to know the note names and to be able to ghost play (i.e. finger) the notes in their proper place on the cello before playing them through with the bow. Also, because they are duos, it is a good way to continue to develop good intonation and an awareness of the intervallic relationship of sounds between the two instruments.

  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 1

    Cello teacher
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  • July 08, 2017 Unsubstantial book(let) leaves much to be desired.

    With just 8 pages of duets, this is a meager offering. Alas, they would be better offered as a $5 download; there is simply not much here. As for their pedagogical value, I would say that this is a minor offering compared to the volumes of cello thumb position material...

    available. Old masters, such as Carl Schröder and Josef Werner in their cello methods, have presented similar music but with an actual focus on teaching. Ms. Feldman said in her preface that there is little material like this for thumb position. Not at all! Books with more material include Francis Grant's Basic Thumb Position Studies, his Fundamentals of Violoncello Technique, & Pat Legg's Thumb Position for Beginners (with 26 pages of music), along with more recent publications by Mooney, Jensen, Harvey, Koeppen, etc. With the wealth of cello thumb position material being published recently, it is not enough to sell a short volume of dubiously helpful duets. I feel cheated; I'd hoped for much more from Ms. Feldman.

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