Climbing the Mount Everest for Cellists

NEW YORK—It was on her mind for at least 20 years. Inbal Segev had been preparing, practicing, gearing herself up to consummate her musical career by climbing what she called “the Mount Everest for cellists.” Recording J. S. Bach’s complete cello suites constitutes the pinnacle of her internal journey as an artist so far.

The Bach cello suites are so challenging because, as Segev said, they are so simple and yet complex, so structured and yet so free. It is something that any great cellist is expected to accomplish.

Segev trained in a 19th and 20th century-centric style. Despite her precise technique, like a thoroughbred racing horse, she had to abort her first try at recording the suites when the sound engineer gave her some truthful feedback—he sensed she was conflicted inside.

Talking about it now, after finally reaching the summit of her Mount Everest, she reflected on her life and musical career from the comfort of her spacious Upper East Side apartment. Slightly laughing at herself, she said she still tears up a bit when she remembers her first attempt.

“There was so much pressure in succeeding,” she said, yet after years of painstaking research, preparation and practice, she still wasn’t ready.

“I was trying to come back 300 years in one month,” she said in a new documentary video that traces her two-year process of recording the six Bach suites—36 pieces of over two hours of music.

Read the full feature article by Milene Fernandez at Epoch Times. 

Front page image credit: Dario Acosta

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