Beethoven A major sonata – 2nd Movement

Beethoven A major sonata – 2nd Movement

Leonard Rose, Cello with Glenn Gould, Piano


I was a pipsqueak of a kid and overwhelmingly shy. I was afraid to speak to Mr. Rose above a whisper. I’d try to hide behind the cello. He was always calm, soothing, and gentle. He tried to get me to overcome my timidity by constantly urging me to sing out on the instrument. There was this kind of sympathy from my teacher to me. It was like he was saying to me, ” I too was shy. I went through the same thing.”
– Yo-Yo Ma

[by Steven Honigberg] Leonard Rose’s exquisite artistry as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player touched the lives of thousands of musicians and music lovers- yet none so profoundly as the roughly two hundred and fifty individuals entitled to call the great cellist, “my teacher.”

“Pure gold.”  Thus the New York Times described the playing of Leonard Rose, the most successful American-born cellist of his generation. Rose’s knowledge of the instrument was unsurpassed. Every phrase of every piece he recorded – his legacy –  continues to sparkle with meaning. His Beethoven and Brahms were noble in style, favoring huge dynamic contrasts and rhythmic freedom.  His Schumann and Schubert each had a semblance of epic beauty. His Bach could be transcendently romantic and powerful. His signature concerti had a consistency, accuracy, and no-nonsense approach. And, notably, he performed works by living American composers, a tendency many of his peers shunned.


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[By Myung-Wha Chung] Leonard Rose taught me so much that it’s difficult to summarize it in writing, let alone in a few paragraphs. The first thing that grabbed me was his exquisite tone. When I first heard it at close range, I knew I had arrived in a completely different world of music- it was a new continent for me musically (and literally, having just come from Korea!)

Mr. Rose had a huge career with lots of solo and trio performances which he combined with his teaching. The fact that he was away so often on concert tours actually was a blessing in disguise for me. It allowed me time to reflect and digest what he taught. For instance, during his absence, I listened to his Schubert “Arpeggione” recording so many times (like 50?) trying to figure out everything he did: How he would move, tempo, rubato, how he would reach from one note to another and how he’d use his bow and vibrato to create the sound he wanted to produce. Then, when he returned, he’d play the piece again


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