I am so excited and happy that a confluence of different streams has finally led to completing this post that originated, years ago, with a Yo-Yo Ma performance. Experiencing his entrancement and virtuosity with the cello reminded me of why it is my favorite string instrument. Listening to the Bach cello suites on the home-bound leg of my daily commute in Boston reinforced the appreciation of its emotional range and power. (The outbound leg is usually Brazilian beats to get ready for work’s pace…) Lastly, I am satisfied enough with the poem reflecting on and connecting the female figure, the cello, and current circumstances, to post it.
The cello is, by far, the sexiest and the most sensual – aurally and visually – of the string instruments. As it has so many almost-human voices – wise, playful, soothing, seductive, meditative, mournful – it would be my choice if I were to be re-incarnated as a string 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.)
When a cello speaks, first you close your eyes and then you listen. When a woman connubiates* with a cello, you keep your eyes open, you thank God, and then you listen…
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?
So, my own homage to the instrument and the eternal quest…