Everything That Rises: Our Kind of Spirituals, No. 50: Matt Haimovitz, “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Twelve years ago, the cellist Matt Haimovitz played “The Star-Spangled Banner” – Jimi Hendrix’s version – live at CBGB. The story is told in Reinventing Bach. Haimovitz studied with Yo-Yo Ma, enrolled at Harvard, and then dropped out of college and the classical-music recital circuit at once. The gig at CBGB – in October 2002 – was just one gig in a tour of nightclubs, cafes and restaurants in support of a self-financed CD. He played three of Bach’s cello suites, a recent piece by a living composer, and a four-string acoustic reduction of the Hendrix anthem from Woodstock — rendering feedback, string bends, dive-bomb runs, and discordura, and interpolating a few bars of “Taps.” TheWall Street Journal’s critic griped that he couldn’t hear the cello over the clinking bottles.

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The Washington Post: Cellist Matt Haimovitz brings Bach to Georgetown’s Dumbarton Church

It’s been more than a dozen years since Matt Haimovitz first took Bach’s solo cello suites on tour across North America in nontraditional venues. On Saturday, he brought them to Georgetown’s Dumbarton Church, where he presented the six suites — split in two back-to-back performances — in a refreshing old-meets-new light.

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