Please note our English language edition of this volume BA 8999.
Volume 4, prepared by cello specialist Michael Corssen, is devoted almost exclusively to playing in positions. Positions 2, 3 and 4 are introduced and trained using familiar songs and delightful short recital pieces, some of them specially written for the volume by Bertold Hummel. Changes of position are first marked with a sign in the music so that they can be explicitly practiced. The volume provides varied suggestions for this purpose, encouraging learners to approach this technical challenge from different angles and to practice with imagination. The tutor is rounded off with an excursion into positions 5 and 6. Volume 4 also introduces the tenor clef and explains how to produce harmonics.
By now learners have reached a level of achievement that allows them to venture into the 'genuine' cello literature, partially while studying Volume 4. Additional material can be found, for example, in Sebastian Lee's “Forty Easy Etudes”, op. 70 (BA 9401), and David Popper's “Fifteen Easy Melodic-Harmonic Etudes”, op. 76, no. 1 (BA 6979). After this, the collection “Concert Pieces for Cello and Piano” (BA 9695) and the series “Bärenreiter's Concert Pieces”, likewise edited by Christoph Sassmannshaus, contain many musically rewarding pieces that form a bridge to the standard repertoire of the cello.
In 1976 Egon Sassmannshaus, one of the most experienced and renowned violin teachers in Germany, published his tutor “Früher Anfang auf dem Cello”. This standard work for young string players quickly became the most popular and best-selling tutor in the German-speaking countries for beginners on this instrument. His son-in-law Michael Corssen, the co-author of Volumes 3 and 4, is a baroque cellist and conductor who heads a music school in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Egon Sassmannshaus's son, Kurt Sassmannshaus, functioned as co-editor of the English-language edition, “Early Start on the Cello” (BA 8996, BA 8997, BA 8998, BA 8999), adapting his father's successful tutor to meet the needs and requirements of English-speaking children.
The combined knowledge and experience of the Sassmannshaus/Corssen family make these four volumes the most thoroughly researched and thought-through cello tutor for beginners all over the world.