Saturday, March 6, 2010

David Soyer

I've read quite a few tributes to cellist David Soyer of the Guarneri Quartet, who died on February 25 at the age of 87.  His music has given me so much pleasure over the years, and in the last week I've enjoyed listening to a variety of CDs that I've acquired over the years that this great musician played on.

I was surprised to read in Anne Midgette's article in the Washington Post about some of Soyer's freelance work:
He supplemented his solo appearances with stints ranging from playing in the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini to performing in the studio band on the first-ever "Ed Sullivan Show." He played with pianist-singer Nat "King" Cole, backed jazz singer Billie Holliday on her final major album and soloed on folk singer Joan Baez's 1964 recording of Heitor Villa-Lobos's "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 -- Aria."
The Joan Baez BB#5 has been a favourite of my readers at the HVL Website and The Villa-Lobos Magazine over the years.  The cello soloist in this piece doesn't always necessarily get credited on CDs or in concert programs, but listening to this piece again David Soyer's playing is really a standout.  Now I'm off to check out the Billie Holiday and Nat Cole discs!

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