Cello Concerto


cello and orchestra
Solo Instrument(s) with Orchestra, Cello
3(II+III=picc).3(III=ca).3(III=bcl).3(III=cbsn) - 4331- perc(2): 2 wdbl/tpl.bl/2 tgl/5 susp.cym/mark tree/t.bells/tam-t/guiro/4 c.bell/ japanese temple bell/bongos/BD/gong - vib - glsp(=crot/tgl) - cel - elec keyboard - harp - strings ( Electronics: 4-octave keyboard with amplifier and speaker (e.g. Yamaha DX7)

Commissioned by the Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Emilia-Romagna ‘Arturo Toscanini’

First Performance
7.12.90, Royal Festival Hall, London: BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Frances-Marie Uitti/Lothar Zagrosek

Score, DX7IID disc and parts for hire

Programme Notes

If there is a ‘programme’ to this piece then it concerns man’s relation to bliss (ananda): presence, absence, pathways to and from it. Like most of the composer’s recent music it uses a chain of linked melodies for statement, transformation, polyphony and fragmentation. There is a ‘concertante’ group placed around the soloist which consists of glockenspiel, crotales, electric keyboard, celesta, harp and vibraphone. This group often leads the solo cello through a sort of celestial journey, lifting it as it were out of its dialectic with the main orchestra. The work was written for, and inspired by the playing of, Frances-Marie Uitti.

Jonathan Harvey

Licensing Information

News & Reviews

'Cello Concerto' reviews

'It is a careful balancing act, which is sustained well… its working-out contains more than enough arresting sounds and soloistic intricacy to keep the ear hanging on every bar.' Read more

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