Ein Celloleben


by David Matthews

solo cello

Commissioned by Guy Johnston

First Performance
21.02.2016, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, Wales, UK: Guy Johnston

Score on special sale from the Hire Library

Programme Notes

I wrote this short solo piece for Guy Johnston to celebrate the 300th anniversary of his cello, which was made in 1714 by the Austrian luthier David Tecchler. I chose the title 'Ein Celloleben' by analogy with Strauss’s 'Ein Heldenleben'. Within its four-minute duration the music encompasses the whole range of the cello from bottom C to a top high G, and passes through moods of contemplation, intense animation and light-hearted scherzando. Towards the end there are three quotations, played very quietly on harmonics: from Corelli’s 'Christmas Concerto', composed in 1714; Beethoven’s E minor Piano Sonata Op.90, composed in 1814; and Ravel’s Piano Trio, composed in 1914. There is also a ghostly quotation of the opening of Beethoven’s Cello Sonata, Op.102 No.1, composed in 1815.

© David Matthews

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