Lee: Etudes Op. 31 & Op. 70
Not much is known about the life of the cellist Sebastian Lee, who was born on 24 December 1805 in Hamburg, even if both collections of etudes that can be heard on this recording are standard repertoire in cello lessons around the world. After studies with Johann Nikolaus Prell (1773–1849), Lee made his debuts in Hamburg, Kassel, Leipzig and Frankfurt in 1830. In 1832, he travelled to Paris and made a very successful debut in the Théâtre Italien. From 1837 to 1868, he was principal cellist of the Grand’ Opera in Paris and a professor at the Conservatoire. After retiring from these positions, he returned to his hometown Hamburg, where he worked as a composer and pedagogue until his death on 4 January 1887.
Similar to David Popper’s much-feared Hohe Schule des Violoncellospiels (PMR0085), Lee’s intimate knowledge of the cello makes some of theetudes Op. 31 trickier to play than they finally sound.