Cellist Amit Peled: "Casals connects us directly with the past"

Amit Peled will be on Friday night at 7 pm in the cemetery church. He plays the cello of the legendary Pablo Casals.

Wuppertal. When the doors of the Friedhof church are open on Friday, April 28, at 7 pm, a cellist can be heard, who is not yet known here, but elsewhere in the world. Amit Peled is the Israeli-American musician who has the great honor of playing the instrument of the legendary Pablo Casals. It was built in 1733 by Matteo Goffriller.

He has a similar reputation as a cello conductor, as Antonio Stradivari, whose violin has cult status. With this cello and the pianist Stefan Petrov, he will present a rich program: Johann Sebastian Bach's first Cellosuite in G major (BWV 1007), "Kol Nidrei" op. 47 by Max Bruch, the "Hungarian Rhapsody" ( Hungarian Rhapso-die), op. 68 from the pen of David Popper and Franz Schubert's famous "Arpeggione Sonata".

How did you get to know the pianist Stefan Petrov? And since when do they play regularly?

Amit Peled: We've known each other for 15 years. Stefan was a student at the Peabody Conservatory, where I taught and played sonatas with my students. From the beginning I admired his abilities. My teaching is, among other things, to play concerts with my students and so began our collaboration. Shortly thereafter we became a duo - and friends.

They rarely perform in Germany. What is the reason why you appear in Wuppertal?

Peled: In January 2016, I was invited to play the double concerto of Johannes Brahms in the Wuppertaler Stadthalle with the violinist Katharina Kang, and found a musical home in Loretta and Werner Ischebeck, the young orchestra and his conductor Ingo Ernst Reihl. Shortly thereafter we played the Elgar concert, and now I am looking forward to a more intimate way of music making.

Max Bruch composed "Kol Nidrei" for cello and orchestra. From whom is the arrangement that you play?

Peled: From the cellist Leonard Rose.

Why play a piece of David Popper?

Peled: Popper was the greatest cellist of the 19th century and has enriched the Cellorepertoire with pieces that he wrote mainly for himself and his students. Unfortunately, these "show pieces" have disappeared from most classical concerts. And I am very happy to make these pieces known to the public again.

Can you explain why you just love the cello of Pablo Casals?

Peled: Casals is the grandfather of all cellists and connects us directly with the past. He even played for Brahms as a child. His cello has a very human sound that allows me to produce sound colors that I have not yet known. 

What are your next concerts in Wuppertal and a day later in Essen?

Peled: After my concerts in Essen and Wuppertal I fly to Gran Canaria to perform the Cellokonzert by Antonín Dvoák with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria under the direction of Sebastian Lang Lessing. In addition, a recording of both Brahms sonatas and Schubert's Arpeggione sonata is on the schedule and the performance of the Dvorak concert at the Mozarteum Salzburg.

They regularly appear in Europe and the USA. Do you have problems with jet lag?

Peled: I travel very much and am therefore in a permanent jet. I'm awake when I'm working, and I sleep between. Thank God, I can sleep very well on the plane!