Symphonic Selections: Double Cello Concerto in G Minor ~ 1st Mvt

Symphonic Selections

Although I love autumn and am thankful for the cooler weather, there is one reason why I don’t like October. In 2013, my beloved high school band teacher passed away a day before her birthday, so I’m always reminded of her passing and of her birthday. Around the anniversary of her passing, I thought of her a lot. I remembered our band classes and the times I’d volunteered and subbed for her. Inevitably, I began to think of music associated with those memories, and I had one particular song stuck in my head the past couple of weeks. I decided to feature this song for this month’s Symphonic Selections.

I’m surprised I hadn’t featured something by Antonio Vivaldi. Vivaldi’s known for the Le quattro stagioni (aka The Four Seasons), but I absolutely adore this double cello concerto, especially the first movement. I was introduced to this piece when my band teacher decided to have two of her cellists perform this for their spring concert. On the day she passed out the sheet music, she’d also played the recording by Yo-Yo Ma, and it was love at first sound. For the next eight months, I heard the two cellists and the string ensemble rehearse this many time, and I never tired of it. My band teacher encouraged this group of teens to play this piece, and they performed this beautifully on the night of the spring concert. They only performed the first movement, but that alone is very powerful, and it has a very demanding presence that sticks with you.

Here’s a recording of a teen group from California performing this piece. This one’s the whole concerto, and it’s a bit slower than the Yo-Yo Ma’s version above. Slower or not, these kids are amazing. Everything meshes well — from the cellist duet to the string ensemble that’s backing them up. Heck, just watch the two teen cellists’ hand movements and watch them fly! This video reminds me of the night my high school string ensemble performed this, and it makes me really miss my band teacher. I miss her a lot, but I have to thank her for introducing so many great classical pieces to me, including this one.

Are you familiar with this piece? What do you think of this song? Which do you prefer — the fast or slow version? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I remember playing a lot of Vivaldi when I was growing up! The double cello concerto video is just divine. I honestly prefer the sound of the cello over the violin, and now I don’t even know why I picked the violin over the cello. I’m familiar with this piece and I prefer the fast version. It’s still fun to watch the slow version though. Those teens can play!

  2. It’s always good to remember those who gave you a good experience. Even though I don’t play music anymore and my band dir. is still alive, I still miss his teachings. Yo-Yo Ma is a legend when it comes to playing cello! The piece you shared sounds amazing. I really like how this the double cellos are really utilized. The teens are really talented! I miss playing violin :’).

    I prefer the fast version. It keeps me awake X’D. It reminded me of the time when I watched a performance by some world class marimba player and I fell asleep during a slow piece @___@.

  3. aw, my favorite high school teacher passed away when i didn’t expect it either. he was quite possibly the best teacher ever, who made all the classes he taught interesting :(

    being an ex-pianist, i was familiar with vivaldi’s name but i didn’t really hear his piece. i think i might have accidentally heard a few but i didn’t know they were vivaldi’s. i’m more familiar with pianists and pieces for piano though ^^;;
    i think cellists are cool though. i mean, i’ve never been interested in cello but whenever i see cellists, i think they’re cool. string instruments are difficult, much more difficult than piano so people who play them…well, i find them awesome.

    also, i prefer the fast version because it’s somehow more thrilling and mysterious :D

  4. That is really sad about your teacher ):
    Cello really is a lovely instrument. I was always kind of wishing I had chosen to play the cello instead of the violin.
    Thanks for sharing these pretty songs.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your teacher. Despite the loss, it’s pretty nice to always have some kind of good light or inspiration to have alongside your love for music. It’s a hard choice, but I have to say I like the faster version better. As everyone else has mentioned, it is a lot more thrilling and exciting. And being a former pianist, I used to love being able to play pieces that had a really fast tempo or thrilling/dramatic sound to it, just like this one.

    PS being a new visitor to this blog, I’ll admit the girl in the header is so cute *cries*

  6. I love that you said love at first sound. I have to use this in the future when describing how I feel about music. ;)

    I haven’t heard this particular piece before, but I’m familiar with Vivaldi. I’ve listened to some of his music either in school or here and there. I love being able to watch an orchestra play if I can instead of just listening – I think you can better appreciate the music when you see how individually talented each person is. They move their hands so quickly and expertly!

  7. *hug* It’s not easy when we are reminded of people that we care about who have passed. It is wonderful that they were able to have such an impact on your life, and I am sure they would cherish that too. <3

    Wow, they are great. I always find it amazing to see young people or students preforming music because it looks somehow out of place haha.

  8. I’m sorry that October has such bad memories for you but I think it’s nice that you have such a sweet memory to share. It’s a blessing when someone you admire has such an influence on you.

    I listened to the piece a few times while I browsed the web. It was so lovely and thank you for sharing!

  9. Oh how sad! I’m so sorry for your loss. These pieces are so beautiful though! I like Vivaldi a lot – watching these makes me wish I could play an instrument (alas, I am all thumbs when it comes to basically any instrument, and practically tone deaf). I can admire from afar, though!

Comments are no longer accepted on this post. However, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding this post.