Friend, collaborator, and “cello mentor” Douglas McNames, master of both baroque and modern cello, has acquired a baroque instrument that is quickly becoming his personal voice. Built by Nicolas Augustin Chappuy in Paris around 1775, the instrument has been left remarkably intact through the centuries, showing signs of only the most basic maintenance and still wearing its original, well-worn patina. Doug has had a new baroque bow custom-made to match the instrument, and he is currently spending many hours with Bach’s 5th suite (C minor), reacquainting himself with the music as he and the cello coalesce into one musical being. He will play the suite on a Mélomanie concert this coming season.
I plan to listen to Doug play the Bach several times so that I can get that sound—Doug’s personal sound on this specific instrument—deeply embedded. I want my third solo cello suite to be at home on a baroque or modern instrument, and I look forward to writing the piece with Doug and the Chappuy cello in mind. The music will be philosophical—Doug gets to the marrow of philosophical music and brings out everything that is there and sometimes, somehow, even more.
Doug’s recording of my second solo suite can be found on the double CD Soliloquy, which also features my three Clavier Books played by harpsichordist Tracy Richardson.