Cello Concerto

(2004)

by Carl Vine

Description
cello and orchestra
Duration
19
Genres
Solo Instruments with Orchestra, Cello
Instrumentation
2 (II=picc.).2(II=ca).2(II=bcl).2(II=cbsn) - 4.2.2.1 - timp - perc(2): glsp/xyl/bell tree/susp.finger cymbal/crash cymbals/bongo/low tom-tom/tam-t/BD - cel - harp - strings
Commission

Commissioned by Symphony Australia with support from the Australia Council for the Arts, for performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

First Performance
30.6.04: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW, Australia: Steven Isserlis/Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Jiří Bělohlávek
Availability

Score and parts for hire

Full score 0-571-57213-8 (fp), piano reduction and part 0-571-57214-6 (fp) on sale

Programme Notes

Steven Isserlis is an impeccable performer. For the past decade he paid me the greatest honour by playing my little work Inner World, for cello and electronic accompaniment, countless times around the globe. The honour magnified when he first urged the creation of this concerto, which the Sydney Symphony Orchestra graciously accommodated into its commissioning schedule and concert season.

It is daunting to compare one's own work with past masterpieces, but also foolish not to seek inspiration from outstanding precedents. I remain in complete awe of the cello concertos by Robert Schumann and Edward Elgar. The first for its continuous, amazingly organic melodic development sustained over 23 minutes, and the second for its utterly compelling emotional architecture and beautifully balanced contrasts between soloist and orchestra. I hope to have replicated some part of these characteristics in my own humble effort.

The very notion of concerto now feels rooted in the romantic notion of the hero (instrumental soloist) facing an indomitable adversary (the orchestra). Certainly the successful merger of these two radically mismatched forces is a primary task of the concerto composer. My concerto begins with a dramatic statement of this mismatch (borrowing a little from Elgar), and the balance of the work might be seen as a quest for coalition.

The soloist continually introduces new melodic material that is appropriated by the orchestra. A slow chorale led by the cellist frames the central section. Unusually, the majority of this typical 'slow' movement is actually quite fast, with only the return to the chorale signifying its stately intent.

The third and final section opens with rapid woodwind figures answered by the cello. The cello quickly converts these into simple rising triplet scales that carry the work through to its finale. Just before the climax the cello reintroduces the slow chorale as the orchestra continues its relentless triplet motion.

Carl Vine, March 2004

Licensing Information

Site Search

Newsletter sign-up

Submit your email address here to receive the latest news and special offers from Faber Music

Score Availability

It is possible in certain circumstances to purchase some scores direct from the Hire Library, even if advertised as available only for hire.

Please Contact the Hire Library:
Tel: +44 (0)1279 828907 / 8
Email: hire@fabermusic.com

Take a look

Ralph Vaughan Williams

'His music is an atmosphere. It does not woo the impressionable senses; it does satisfy all the moods of...

read more