Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Lady that Brought Cello Back

In 1973, an upstate New York band named Putnam String County Band (Note that word order) was, to my knowledge, the first American band of its kind for generations to make significant use of cello. The young cellist was Abby Newton, next door neighbor to the fiddler, the now very well-known Jay Ungar.

Ms. Newton went on to play in over 70 recordings in the folk idiom with many well-known fiddlers and singers. Her recording featuring herself on cello, Crossing to Scotland, superbly demonstrates how cello can hold its own as a solo instrument.

On YouTube, here is a recent video of Ms. Newton with David Greeenberg on fiddle and Kim Robertson on harp: Celtic Colours


Gottagopractice said...

Thanks for posting that, Terry. While listening I kept imagining playing that with my piano trio. A very exciting fantasy, I'll tell you!

Maricello said...

Thanks for posting this--I have looked for Abby Newton on YouTube and not found her. Do you have her book, Crossing to Scotland? I've worked on various pieces in it and am going to a Scottish fiddle camp this summer because she is teaching there.
She is now playing with another group, Ferintosh, and has a couple of other CDs, which I have been meaning to buy. She is one of my favorite cellists.