by Paul Dwyer, March 14, 2020

I’m in the middle of the journey that is recording Bach’s six cello suites – a monumental and intimidating endeavor. Last fall, Bear Machine Records released the first half, the ODDS. Travel regulations permitting, I will be recording the final suite, the beautiful No. 6 in D major, on a 5-string cello in June in Los Angeles. We’ll release the EVENS this fall. Meanwhile, I hope listening to this music may provide even just a fleeting sense of relief from the stress that COVID-19 is causing to our art, profession and well-being. To me, this c minor Prelude encapsulates a lot of what we are all going through – complex and stormy darkness, incredible uncertainty… but hopefully a glimpse of hope via the beauty expressed in this music.

As a cellist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago orchestra, I have been extremely grateful for a sense of security that certainly is above average in this country, and particularly in our profession. However, our three Ring Cycles scheduled for April and May were just canceled. In addition to the loss of 7 weeks of work in the blink of an eye, we all worry what long-term effects this may have on the opera company. I’m sending wishes of strength and perseverance to all my (early) musician colleagues out there!

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