Guest Post By Eileen Harder
April 15, 2016 was the day I was looking forward to for many months. I had my ticket for the 2Cellos posted on my fridge, where it sat for six months, waiting patiently to be presented to the ticket taker at the gates of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in beautiful Vancouver BC. What would I wear? Turns out that the long ago days of dressing up for the Queen Elizabeth theatre are gone-bring on the jeans and a nice scarf and you have casual appropriate attire. That is what 2CELLOS want. They want you to be casual and let loose, “this is not a classical concert” they said, “so we want you to relax”. I was going for the purpose to hear the music but I was also going to see these two gorgeous men who made me feel like a giddy school girl again just like Peter Frampton did when I was a teenager.
As a late starter on the cello, (and not a young woman, yet not too old), I had put in the hard work, one and a half years of relentless study with a strict teacher. I already had a lifetime of music theory under my belt with guitar, so how could this be so difficult? Famous last words…Arthritis in my bowing thumb and shoulder pains did not stop me from reaching my goal. Now I can bang out a song on the cello but not like the works of Stjepan Hauser nor Luka Sulic, who both started playing the cello at 8 and 5 years old respectfully. I bow to these men in admiration as the cello is one of the hardest instruments to play besides the violin. Throw in young age, talent, hard work and youthful good looks, and you have success as in 2CELLOS.
Concert day was here! I can tell you my stomach was in knots out of excitement for I knew I was going to see and hear something ‘out of this world’ fantastic, a dream come true. And I was right, they were as talented and youthful and energetic and drop dead gorgeous as you can imagine. The internet videos of them did not do them justice. They were a late to come on stage but I am sure that was to tantalize the audience. Most of the audience filled with women, girls, grannies but also men.
As the lights went low and then blue lights appeared, Stjepan and Luka came to stage with their electric cellos to great applause and whistles from the giddy school girls in the audience. I heard a man behind me quibble about their ‘funny’ looking cellos. In reality, the electric cello can take a beating far more than the traditional wooden cello. And do they take a beating in their shows! Also electrified, the cello can fill a large auditorium with music with sound versus the traditional cello. In some of their videos, you can see Stjepan and Luka play on carbon fiber cellos, such as in their Mombasa YouTube video. Carbon Fiber cellos sound much louder than their traditional wooden counterpart, although perhaps, a bit synthetic to the trained ear. And they can put up with being dropped, banged, thrown about or even tossed in water as I suspect I saw in their holiday video. You can hear Stjepan singing in this video or more operatively, ‘trying to’ sing. In my humble opinion, I would just stay with the cello Stjepan!
They started the Vancouver concert with a slow song with a violin backtracking. At first, this might disappoint purist fans of 2CELLOS but in reality, 2CELLOS would not be able to transport their violin accompanists along with them on their North American tour. So we must forgive them for this. It is logic. Slowly they worked into more rock songs. The best song, in my opinion was their Beethoven’s 5th Symphony that morphed into Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’.
From a musical standpoint, this transition from the classical piece to a rock ensemble was like magic because it fit well. Who would have thought that one could do this with music so readily? What would Beethoven think if he could hear this today?
Stjepan Hauser is married to the stage. He looks so adapted and comfortable up there, relentlessly flirting with the women in the audience. Luka, a little more reserved, said a few words, his voice strong and manly and attractive. He is more dedicated to his music than the stage in my view. Both work very well together. Both shredded their bows and Luka gave that shredded bow hair out to the lucky people in the first row.
The ensemble bringing Stjepan and Luka together is entirely magic in itself. After a lifetime of study and Master Degrees in music later, they came together to collaborate. These men had no idea their lives would change as they have when they decided to make a YouTube video of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’.
It was a shot in the dark. They took a risk. And look where it has landed these two gorgeous men, with their whole lives ahead to do more wonderful things.
Seeing these attractive musicians on stage and feeling the thunder-like music vibrate through the stadium seats made you feel like you were being transported to another dimension. It also makes you wish you were young again and had youth and energy like these two do. Perhaps it is a bittersweet push and pull of feeling of time, time lost, time gained and time to get to work. They inspire, they make you happy and they make you strive for better things. They inspire you to play your instrument better. I will play my cello better. It is well worth dropping everything to go see them perform live. In a stressful world, we need these men to keep bringing great music to soothe our souls.
Guest Post by Eileen Harder