"Hmmmmmmmm," deMaine replies in an email. "Accessible! But difficult to play!!! I'll be playing 3 or 4 of my own Etudes-Caprices, which explore specific, pointed difficulties in cello [technique], while endeavoring to be entertaining showpieces." Though deMaine has already decided on the Hindemith Sonata and Cassado's Suite, it turns out he hasn't quite made up his mind on the Bach: "I may play either the First or Third Bach Suite." Tough choice: the First has a bouncing, bounding gigue, while the Third has a soulfully sonorous saraband. But of course, with Bach, whichever deMaine chooses, the audience wins.
If you'd like to check out deMaine before the show, he's got a number of brief clips on his website, www.robertdemaine.com. "The DSO has generously allowed me up to, but not exceeding, three minutes of each concerto performance that has been broadcast," deMaine explains with what one might call legalistic precision. But whether or not you check him out online, by all means, check out deMaine live at the concert house.
[Originally published in May, 2010.]