It was a grey Thursday when I got a call from an unknown number. Listening to the voicemail, I heard that my interlibrary loan had come in. The excitement bubbled up in my throat as I got ready to head over (the library is about 3 minutes away). I have been looking for a book called "Pour Se Mettre En Doigts" by Jean Silvy for some time. Quite out of print is how I would describe it; the book is unavailable even from used sources. The Bibliothèque nationale de France informed me that they couldn't make a copy since it was still under copyright. My next try was the Free Library of Philadelphia's Interlibrary loan service, which can be amazing. I usually hear nothing from them until I get a phone call from the branch library saying a book has arrived for me. Giddy with excitement, I got the book home and opened it up to play and I discovered a short but stunning series of exercises. Silvy was apparently very aware of the time limitations cellists face; he dedicated the book to "those amateur and professional violoncellists who have just a few minutes to practice their instrument every day". At the bottom of each exercise, Silvy included a duration (for example: Durée 3 min. 40). But it is the exercises themselves that are the stars of this book. From finger agility training to scale shifting and a brilliant "interval training" exercise that takes you around the entire fingerboard, the book is a joy to play. I only wish that Silvy had been a little less "efficient" and had given us more; he clearly thought about cello technique in a unique and very special way. Please, Delrieu, bring this book back in print!
Getting ready for the upcoming ASTA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where we will be hosting an exhibit. Stop by booth 810 and say hi!
We are releasing a number of new cello technique books today: Half Position for the Cello, Double Stop Etudes for the Cello, Book One, Octave Shifts for the Cello, Book Three, Scale Studies for the Third Octave for the Cello, Book One, and Thirds in Thumb Position for the Cello, Preparatory Studies. The preparatory studies for thirds in thumb position is one of my favorite new books: a method to teach double stop thirds on the cello before they occur in the repertoire.
New violin technique book releases are The A-String Book for Violin, Playing the Violin, Book Two, Serial Shifting for the Violin, and new viola technique releases are Finger Exercises for the Viola, Book One, Serial Shifting for the Viola, and Third Position for the Viola, Book One.
Cassia Harvey is a cellist, a cello teacher, and writes technique for strings.