In Memoriam: Concerto for Amplified Cello and Orchestra


amplified cello and orchestra
Solo Instrument(s) with Orchestra, Cello and Orchestra
picc.1.2(II=ca).1.bcl.1.cbsn - 4231 - timp - perc(5): xyl/t.bells/3 tuned crystal glass(G, F#,F)/large metal pipe/5 wdbl/2 c.bell/bongo/samba whistle/SD/siren/med-large metal pipe/drum kit/glsp/mediummetal pipe/2 hi-hat/sewing machine/brake drum or anvil.vib/2crash.cym/chicken shaker/BD/timb/tamb/flexatone/splash.cym/tam-t - harp - pno(=cel) - strings
Composed as part of a composer-attachment with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
First Performance
4.5.01, Australia, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall: Nathan Waks/Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Richard Gill

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Programme Notes

In 1999 I was the recipient of a composer attachment with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As part of this attachment I was expected to compose three works, the third of which was to be a concerto of some kind.

In Memoriam is written for amplified cello with orchestra. Amplification was initially recommended by the performer, Nathan Waks, who was very encouraging in getting me to write the work. Amplification makes available the potential of a difference in tone colour (as compared to the unamplified instrument) as well as offering increased dynamic levels. There are two contrasting movements within In Memoriam, “Lament” and “Celebration”.

The work is dedicated to two of my relatives who passed away suddenly, Hargret Davis and Robert Hopkins. Both were around about my age when they died. Robert was an Aboriginal, and hence the use of some quasi-Aboriginal figures in the piece. In Memoriam is not just about my two particular cousins. In this piece I have strived to explore many of the universal feelings experienced upon the death of a loved one. Thus there are moments of anger, sadness, grief, resignation and so on. The work does not aim to be morbid, either.

The second movement in particular aims to celebrate joyous memories of life. In Memoriam was premiered on 5 April, 2001 at the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. It was performed by Nathan Waks (amplified cello) with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Gill.

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