Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Feb 16, 2015
This is my January 25, 2015 performance of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations for Cello and Orchestra, played on the electric guitar. Where a concerto typically has three movements each lasting 10 to 20 minutes, Rococo is a theme with seven variations that runs about twenty minutes in total. I fell in love with this piece when I started playing the cello in 1992, but it’s extremely difficult to play and I never got proficient enough on the cello to perform it publicly.
When I was younger I played the guitar professionally, but I hadn’t played regularly for about 30 years. In early 2014 I was fooling around playing Rococo on my electric guitar when it dawned on me that, with practice, I could probably play this piece for real with an orchestra. So I asked Danbury Symphony Orchestra conductor Ariel Rudiakov if he’d consider this seemingly outrageous idea, and to my surprise he agreed! So in March 2014 I began memorizing all 3,000 notes - yes, I counted - and started practicing in earnest. I spent 11 months preparing for this concert, as shown in this earlier video:
My musician friends told me if I’m playing this piece on electric guitar, I shouldn’t be shy about sounding like a guitar. I agree, though I wanted to honor the intent and cello tradition of this piece. So what you’ll hear is a variety of modern guitar sounds, but played with a mostly classical interpretation. I hope Tchaikovsky would approve!
Equipment used: Fender Telecaster with added humbucking pickup, DigiTech RP355 guitar effects unit, Mackie Thump TH-12A powered loudspeaker, EBow.