Guilty pleasure confession time: the 1976 album entitled Classical Barbra by Barbra Streisand has brought me many decades of joy, and I love it to this day. I know it has been regularly jeered at by serious classical musicians and fans alike, but I just don’t care. It feels like home to me. In particular, her version of Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane got me and my wee one through a whole lot of long nights and bouts of teething. I still play it in my head when I feel the need to self-soothe. So when I heard this version of Pavane performed (in 12 parts) by cellist Cremaine Booker, commonly known as That Cello Guy, I was just blown away.
The young Dallas, TX, musician is the principal cellist with the Nashville Philharmonic and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. He has played for and toured with some of today’s greatest musicians including soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer, Nina Simone, Michael McDonald, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood, Nelly, Ingrid Andress, and many others. In addition to his obvious talent, I suspect part of what has made him so popular with such a diverse universe of musicians is his visible joy in his music. Looking around his YouTube channel, I found many lovely pieces on which to dwell. I can tell I’m going to be coming back again and again to this magnificent musician’s recordings.