August 21, 2015
It’s easy (too easy) to think of any classical artist who is covering a pop song as a musician who is engaged in a little bit of opportunism. That’s because there is sometimes a little bit of pandering involved. But on other occasions, the crossover move really works. Click play on our mix, and you’ll hear one of those successes: cellist Matt Haimovitz’s scratchy-then-melodic cover of The Beatles’ iconic “Helter Skelter.” Aside from the performance’s ingenuity, it’s impressive that it also comes on Haimovitz’s new multidisc set of solo cello pieces (on which he plays music by Philip Glass as well as Luigi Dallapiccola).
Haimovitz has always had diverse tastes — he has played with composer David Sanford’s classical-meets-jazz large ensemble, while also booking studio time to record core-repertoire names like Beethoven and modernists such as Hans Werner Henze. And his cover of Mingus’ “Haitian Fight Song” should earn your respect, as well.
All of those career highlights are represented in our attached playlist. Whether he’s reinterpreting Hendrix’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” or digging into the cello repertoire of György Ligeti, you’ll find that Haimovitz’s range on his instrument makes for compelling listening.
By: Seth Colter Walls
Read and listen at: Rhapsody