Requiem for cello alone


by Peter Sculthorpe

Solo cello
Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia for performance at the 1979Mittagong Easter Festival
First Performance
FP: 14.4.1979, Clubbe Hall, Mittagong: Nathan Waks

Playing score 0-571-50621-6 on sale

Programme Notes
Peter Sculthorpe – Requiem for ‘cello alone (1979) The idea of using the Plainsong Requiem Mass as source material for a work has interested me for some years, and it continues to do so. It seemed to be especially appropriate in writing for the particular timbral and expressive qualities of the ‘cello; and an added richness of sonority is gained by lowering the pitch of the fourth string. For the most part, the music reflects the words of the chosen parts of the Latin text, so that where the text is in the third person, singular or plural, I have used plainchant, and where it is in the first person I have used a more personal music. The work, therefore, alternates between the coolness and objectivity of plainchant, and the warmth, even passion at times, of my own kind of music, which here is concerned with imploring, with the wanting of forgiveness, and the wanting of eternal life. Requiem is in six sections: Introit, Kyrie, Qui Mariam, Lacrimosa, Libera Me, Lux Aeterna. The work was commissioned by Musica Viva Australia, for first performance at the 1979 Mittagong Easter Festival, where concerts were held to mark the occasion of my fiftieth birthday. Peter Sculthorpe

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News & Reviews

'Requiem for cello alone' reviews

‘… music of noble and moving eloquence – It will surely be taken up eagerly by solo cellists everywhere as a work exhibiting the unique capacities of the instrument in a profound and effective way.’ The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (Roger Covell), 16 April 1979 Read more

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