Cello Recital - Anthem

2024 Jun 1

I am always on the lookout for cello music that is intriguing and includes a challenge. Through a YouTube video I found this very interesting cello quartet by Andrea Casarrubios.

Four cellists at start of performance

She wrote about the piece:

"Anthem (2022) was commissioned by the University of Iowa and Anthony Arnone for the 20th Anniversary of Cello Dayz. It is an introspective work conceived as a personal anthem. This music evokes the process and, ultimately, the acceptance of letting go of what is not in my control. I was inspired by the idea of an anthem as a way to provide solace and guidance, and it is my hope that those playing or listening can use this music as a release." •••

An on-line video of the piece being performed by a string ensemble. Andrea is in front, right.

The music is slow. However, this does not make it as easy as it might seem to be. The slow tempo was actually part of the playing challenge and part of the enjoyment for listening. It has very close harmonies that require careful intonation. And it uses the full range of the instrument.

To learn the music I put it into GarageBand on my computer and made an electronic rendition. This had an embedded metronome click, and I could play along with it and learn all four parts.

So I recorded the parts, making a version by myself:

Audio - Larry all four parts



I then performed it in my cello teacher's end-of-school-year cello recital. When I had showed the piece to Ellen she got enthusiatic about it. However, finding cellists in her studio that could do the music well became a challenge. In the end it was Ellen, her good friend (also a cello teacher), and one of Ellen's former students.


Audio - recital quartet


Video - recital quartet


It came out really well. Very satisfying.


And at the end we had a group picture:

Recital cellists in a group