Concerto for Cello


by John Woolrich

cello and orchestra
Solo Instruments with Orchestra, Cello
Instrumentation - 4.2.flhn.2.btrbn.1 - timp - perc(2): 3 djun djuns/siz.cym/taiko/tam-t - strings
Commissioned by the Norfolk and Norwich Festival
First Performance
10.10.98, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, St Andrew's Hall: Steven Isserlis/Philharmonia Orchestra/Hugh Wolff

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

My concerto starts softly, high in the cello's register, and gently and slowly falls towards the 'earth' of a heavy-footed hocket for cello and orchestra (coloured by two exotic drums: a Taiko and three Djuns Djuns). The orchestra amplifies and extends the timbre of the cello: particularly the dark (low brass, drums and timpani), the lyrical (the flugel horn, for instance) and the soft (low flutes, whispering strings. . . ). When I wrote the piece I was haunted by the alchemical notion that the night sky is blackest just before dawn ('the darkness, darker that darkness' I think Jung said) and then turns white with the dawn. I wrote my cello concerto in memory of the young composer and flute player Jo Johnson, who died last year.

© John Woolrich

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