I was recently reminded that the cello is my favorite string instrument.
It is, by far, the sexiest and the most sensual – aurally and visually – of the string instruments. As it has so many voices – wise, playful, soothing, seductive, meditative, mournful – it would be my choice if I were to be re-incarnated as a musical instrument.
A cello can invoke a State funeral, your grandfather imparting his version of the Wisdom of the Ages… or Marlene Dietrich across a cabaret table, her smoky gaze promising more than a man (or woman) could dream (or handle!).
It can also transform a classic from one musical genre into something entirely unexpected and also beautiful, as in this arrangement for eight (8) cellos of Queen’s (!) Somebody to Love :
or Bicycle Race:
Or sound unexpected in the hands of a virtuoso, like these Brazilian pieces with Yo-Yo Ma. (No video available.)
So, in appreciation and more…
Like A Cello
brushing your hair,
drinking cold coffee,
when the screen
to that page
and you were tired
above your head,
no arm encircling
skin-to-skin, your rising
falling breath (a gentle bellows)
the way you hold your cello. I would
warm my hands, attend to the seen
and unseen scratches, use a perfect
ear to hum you to the right pitch,
and bow a smile from every tear and
tune re-tune.. and play, again and
again, the notes that chase all
fears… if you were my
Combine a cello with a piano and the effect of the interplay’s tempo can be allegro enough to make me clean house at triple speed…..or so lento that I’ll head to a hammock, as even the clouds will gather to listen. Here’s a brief example with Lynn Harrell (cello) and Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano):
*a new word! And like Justice Steward defining “pornography” (“I know it when I see it”), you have your own definition of connubiate now that you’ve reached the end of this post, don’t you?