J.S. BACH & GABRIELLI: 1, 3 & 5J.S. Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5
Gabrielli: Ricercars Nos. 1, 3 & 5
Johann Sebastian Bach, Domenico Gabrielli
BENJAMIN WHITCOMB, cello
"Whitcomb is a fine player... a member of the Ancora String Quartet. He has a large tone, good clean technique, and is bolstered by a fine sound on this recording...The addition of the highly virtuosic and first-ever works for solo cello by Gabrieli make a...favorable bonus."
AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, FEBRUARY 2008
PROGRAM NOTESThis recording features three of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello and three of Domenico Gabrielli’s Ricercars for Unaccompanied Cello, taken from my own critical editions of the works. I have studied the works from the standpoints of cellist and music theorist, focusing on each movement's harmonic and melodic structure, key relationships, and motives. I have made every effort to consider these attributes of the music while making musical or technical decisions, including fingering, bowing, dynamics, phrasing, and tempi. At the same time, I have endeavored to perform the works with an almost improvisational freedom that baroque aesthetics valued and that keeps the music alive. - B.W.
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An expert in the area of string pedagogy, American cellist BENJAMIN WHITCOMB is known for his work in teaching both technique and musicianship. His book on effective practicing is scheduled to be published in 2008. Dr. Whitcomb is a contributing author to Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra, Vol. 3, and has presented papers on cello and on music theory at several national conferences, including those of American String Teachers Association and the Society for Music Theory. He is also a reviewer and editor for the Cello Forum of the American String Teacher journal. Dr. Whitcomb served as chair of the instrumental faculty at the La Musica Lirica music festival in Nova Feltria, Italy, from 2004 to 2007.
Mr. Whitcomb is currently Associate Professor of Cello and Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. A member of the Madison-based Ancora String Quartet and the UW-W Piano Trio, Mr. Whitcomb performs frequently across the United States in solo and chamber music recitals, and in duo recital with pianist and organist Vincent de Vries. He appears regularly on the "Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen" concert series, broadcast statewide on Wisconsin Public Radio. Dr. Whitcomb has held a number of positions in regional orchestras in Texas and Wisconsin, including that of Associate Principal of the Madison Symphony and of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.
Born in Florida, Dr. Whitcomb spent most of his early years in Oklahoma, and currently resides in Wisconsin. He attended Oklahoma State University (BM, cello), Boston University, and the University of Texas at Austin (MM, cello performance; PhD, music theory), and he has studied with Evan Tonsing, George Neikrug and Phyllis Young.
Recorded in Light Recital Hall,
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Domenico Gabrielli (1651-1690)