New Classical Tracks: Cellist Inbal Segev invites us to dance with a new concerto
Inbal Segev — Anna Clyne's DANCE/Elgar's Cello Concerto (Marin Alsop with the London Philharmonic Orchestra)
"We have really arrived in a way that we don't even have to say this is a women's recording anymore. And I feel like we've come really just the last few years there's a change. You know, during the process, I really didn't think so much about, oh, we're women. You know, it was just very organic and natural."
That's cellist Inbal Segev, who's new recording features a concerto written for her by composer Anna Clyne. Inbal commissioned the five-movement work, titled Dance, after Marin Alsop introduced Inbal to Anna, who is also a cellist. On this recording, all three of these talented musicians join forces with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to present two concertos, by two British composers, written 100 years apart.
You had a special musical rapport with Anna Clyne; a sense of trust that resulted in her implementing some of your suggestions in the piece. Can you talk about where we might hear some of those suggestions in this piece titled Dance?
"Oh, great question. The last two movements have a lot of runs and virtuoso passages. When you hear octaves, that's me. In the kind of Jewish-sounding melody there's a little bit of ornamentation, I did that. I can't take credit for more than that because really I didn't do much. But I'm proud of what I did."
The piece that she wrote is called Dance. And it's a five movement concerto inspired by 13th century Persian poet Rumi. Each movement represents a line in a poem called Dance. Can you talk about how the poetry comes through in the music?
"'Dance when you're broken open' is the first movement and it starts on the very highest range of the cello, it sounds like a violin almost. And, you know, Anna said that this is like shards of glass. And so as if you were cut open by shards of glass. And she uses this special instrument, also, that's a bow that you kind of swoop over a metal... I think a metal kind of plank, and it makes this beautiful, very high pitch. But so, I can do really explain it, you have to hear it in the piece.
Then there is the last. The very last movement is 'dance when you're perfectly free' And I love how optimistic it is, especially in our time."
What do you love the most about this concerto that she wrote for you?
"I love how natural to the instrument it is and how beautiful the melodies are and they stay with you. But I think it's not just beautiful. There's also a lot of pain there. So she really gets just the full character of human character there."
Why did you want to pair Anna's new concerto with Edward Elgar's iconic concerto?
"It was written 100 years apart. Exactly. Almost to the day. And, you know, we didn't know that it's going to be, because when we started talking about the commission it took a few years for it to cook. So that was really interesting to see how he wrote his concerto right after World War One and how his concerto is an elegy to all those lives that were lost, to a way of life that was lost. And she couldn't have known it, but maybe she did in the sixth sense that what we're going now through the whole world, this is really traumatic too."
Cellist Inbal Segev, with Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, sharing an iconic cello concerto, and a brand new one from Anna Clyne.
To hear the rest of my conversation, click on the extended interview above, or download the extended podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
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