Christopher Pearse Cranch was a Unitarian minister, musician, writer and painter. He writes this upon first hearing the great German cellist Gustave Knoop in 1842...
"There is one instrument, which in the hands of the master whose performances upon it I have repeatedly listened to, has been like a new revelation in music to me. It is the violoncello. Did you ever hear it? But even if you have, and in the hands of the best amateur, you can have no idea, nor can I give you any, of its wonderful power when touched by Knoop, said to be the greatest artist on this instrument in Germany. If you would hear the very soul tell all its deepest, most inner feelings, if you would listen to language as from another world and from some matured spirit in a more exalted and perfect state than here below, go to hear Knoop. You will feel as if he were drawing out of you your very soul."
Knoop himself was, apparently, willing to do anything for his "art." This from a History of the Cello...
"Meiningen possessed a very distinguished Violoncellist in Gustave Knoop, who was born at Gottingen in 1805, and was member of the Meiningen Court orchestra. He must have been, in regard to beauty of tone, a successful rival of Romberg. It is related of him that he only married in order to get into his possession a valuable Violoncello which belonged to his wife ; that soon after the wedding he set out on a journey with the instrument, and did not return home again."
Friday, July 30, 2010
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