The Really Emotional Parts

Some very random comments from Keri Russell regarding her crash course in celloing to prepare for her role as a NY Phil member in the film August Rush. Miss Mussel is hoping the poor girl was quoted unsympathetically. The alternative is simply unimaginable.

“The joke is you’re never just OK at the cello; you have to be a child prodigy at the cello, so I went from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to Bach solos in about 12 weeks.”

[a) Miss Mussel has heard a goodly amount of OK cello playing over the years.
b) Isn’t the joke “What’s the difference between the first and last desk of the cellos section?” (a semi-tone)]

“I spent many, many hours a day just to fake the correct fingering. I was doing compromised versions of the Cs and Gs.” [see b above]

“The cello is a beautiful instrument and it’s the closest to the sound of the human voice, so that’s why it’s used for the really emotional parts of the symphonies. “ [Similar claims made by horn players, violinists, violists, oboists and trombones are hereby rendered null and void.]

“It takes a lot of work but they’re exquisite instruments.”
[Ah! So it does take more than three months to go from Suzuki Book One to Wigmore Hall. All those years of lessons were not a colossal waste of time then. Good to know.]

UPDATE: Jonathan Bellman over at Dial M has a post on lazy research in fiction writing.


  1. Bob

    If it makes you feel any better, the athletic scenes in sports movies tend to be really bad from a realism sense. I don’t know why art music should get off any better.

  2. Miss Mussel

    Art music shouldn’t get off any better. Everyone wins if quality is high across the board. Miss Mussel is always left scratching her head when studios think they can get away with a poorly executed con, particularly because all they have to do is ask a musician/athlete for a bit of advice.

    Films like Once, where both characters sing and play for reals are brilliant.

  3. Miss Mussel

    Giorgia–>Miss Mussel’s command of Italian is far too crap to read your article. She can guess the gist of it but could you paraphrase en anglais?

    PS no one said the horn sounded like a beautiful human voice. Personally, Miss Mussel thinks it sounds like a horn, but nevermind.

  4. Miss Mussel – it was just a lament, a bit like better known one by Arianna, the general gist of what I was babbling on about is: “oh, thou, Very Hot Horn Player of the Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, why, oh why didn’t you look at me, while both the other horn player, way less handsome than thou (actually he’s pretty ugly), and the bald bassoonist with a huge nose kept staring at me all the time?? Woe is me! Boo-hoo!” etc.


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