First and foremost, this is a story of great music; Corinne Morris’ music making as a cellist is soulful, nuanced and versatile. Her Macedonian Sessions album is a delightful mix that somehow comes together as a cohesive whole. It contains everything from Camille Saint–Saëns to John Williams, Max Bruch to Corinne Morris (yes, she’s a composer as well) and Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky to Astor Piazzolla.
Rather than take my word for it, have a listen to Saint-Saëns Allegro Appassionato op 43:
If that’s what’s first and foremost, what else is there to her story? The fact that it almost came to an end over 5 years ago with a debilitating shoulder injury through the repetitive work of a practicing soloist. She is a cautionary tale for fellow musicians to not wait for treatment and an inspirational story of impressive perseverance. Along with her life as a practicing musician and teacher, she is getting the word out to musicians to deal with potential problems up front. Her main point seems to be, like athletes, musicians depend on their bodies for their livelihood, they do the same kinds of activities that lead to repetitive stress injury. They need to do preventative conditioning and injury recovery as would any athlete. So, part of my motivation in this post is to encourage friends and musicians to use conditioning and technique to mitigate the likelihood of problems and early intervention with the help of a sports medicine group to avoid elongated injury, if you’re not doing so already. Another challenge she’s facing is relaunching a career for one who has gone down the road less traveled. Ms. Morris wrote briefly about this in Gramophone. She also did a nice interview with BBC.
But mostly, it’s the music
She seems to bring the same quiet determination that brought her through injury recovery to her music playing – while rich and soulful, it seems have an undercurrent of steel. Don’t get me wrong; get her album because it’s great music, not simply because there’s a great story to it. However, the story is great, because she’s a great musician.