update on solo cello repertoire bibliography

So after finding another one of my composer friends, Steve Layton, on facebook (this site has got to be one of the best networking tools I’ve come across) he directed me to the new netnewmusic ning website.

I put out a call for solo cello repertoire there and have gotten quite a number of responses onsite and through private messages.

As is often the case when I’m researching music of any sort, genre, style, I am overwhelmed by the wealth of what’s available. I remember, during my college days, reading a number of articles bemoaning the dearth of cello repertoire, but I think so much of that has as much to do with how accessible scores are. The net has made finding a number of things so incredibly easy – at the same time, as I said, it can be overwhelming.

Anyway, as you folks can see from the link above (unless viewing the site requires registration) there are a few scores available for download from composers’ sites. Otherwise you may join the site and get in touch with the other composers for questions about their solo cello works.

In the meantime, I will keep chugging away with the tedious task of compiling a bibliography: and really–it’s not as bad as it sounds–it’s actually a bit exciting!

Cello Repertoire Wiki

This is more for my own sake, and also for the sake of not cluttering up this blog with lists of cello repertoire, but I’ve set up a Cello Repertoire Wiki so that I can quickly make a note about any repertoire I may come across for my Bibliography Project.

20th Century Bulgarian Music for Cello Solo

20th Century Bulgarian Music for Cello Solo
20th Century Bulgarian Music for Cello Solo

One half of the pleasure of doing research at a more general level (e.g. “Solo Cello Music Repertoire” rather than “Cello Repertoire by Popper”) is finding gems you’d never think to come across. Earlier I found a full CD recording of 20th Century Bulgarian Music for Cello Solo. I’ve never heard of any of the composers, much less the compositions.


The other half of the pleasure is finding the scores to these works.

track listing:


1. Fantasia for Cello solo, Op. 15 by Petar Khristoskov
2. Sonata for Cello solo by Marin Goleminov
3. Kells by Georgi Arnaudov
4. Reflected Meditation by Milcho Leviev
5. Augusburg Polka for Cello by Milcho Leviev
6. Bis by Emil Tabakov
7. Sonata for Cello by Dimitar Tapkoff
8. Entrata e Capriccio for Cello by Simeon Pironkov
9. Rhapsodic Improvisation no 1 by Rumen Balyozov
10. Rhapsodic Improvisation no 2 by Rumen Balyozov
11. Sonata for Cello solo no 1, Op. 39 by Nikolai Stoikov

Bibliography of works for unaccompanied cello

After writing my previous post I remembered one of my pet projects from my undergrad years.  I believe it was my senior year as a cello performance major that I was going to compile a bibliography of works for unaccompanied cello.  What that meant, back then, was that I was going to make a list of solo cello works and put that list in a word document and have a print out (periodically) copy of it in a manila file folder that I could pull out and peruse when looking for works for various lecture/recitals.

Obviously, that has not happened or I would not be writing a blog about what I was going to do regarding a bibliography.

So, in partial fulfillment of my need to have some order (or impose some, maybe?) in the world, I think I will compile a proper bibliography of solo cello repertoire.  Think of this blog post as a statement of intent, though I will have to do tons of brainstorming and organizing before I come close to deciding how I want to host or publish it.  I had toyed with just posting entries here and allowing the category page for “Bibliography” or “Solo-Cello-Bibliography” be the main format, but the wife (who is a tenured Librarian) is probably right in that I should post it as a separate blog.

There are far more resources now for such lists (even wikipedia has one) online that are easily accessible so I wonder if it’s something I should bother with, or just leave to the masses to construct as they will.  But the lists are far from complete — for example, the IMSLP site (which hosts full scores to Public Domain works) also lists solo cello study and technique books (thanks to the cello chat folks for pointing out that site!).  I’m not so sure that I want to include those, though for the completist in me those works would be necessary in any comprehensive list and I’ve always felt that some of the Etudes of Popper should be performed live onstage rather than just in the private lessons.

I believe that ultimately I will be working “backwards” though, as most of the solo repertoire that interests me are the much more recent compositions which are the ones that will be the least likely to be included in such lists.  This will also give me the excuse to include my own solo cello compositions, right?  I suppose the other big question is whether to make this an annotated bibliography or not, but little steps first.