Instrumentation

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 (14.12.10.8.6) Electronics: 4-octave keyboard with amplifier and speaker (e.g. Yamaha DX7)

Availability

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

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. Financial Times (Andrew Clements) December 1990 … le concerto pour violoncello du compositeur britannique démontre une mâitrise extreme des climates et des couleurs, une mesure exacte des durées et du poinds de chaque chose, un sens admirable du dialogue. Le solo, suspendu ou profound, est répercuté par un orchestre miroirantm où ne cessent de se relfléter ses humeurs changeantes, ses grandes phrases lyriques ou ses traits acerbes, ses hérissements soudains et ses caresses delicates. Journal de Genève (Pierre Michot) June 1991 The Cello Concerto itself is a live performance, although the transfixed audience completely forgets to rustle or cough. The piece is in the form of a spiritual quest and opens with a series of incidents that suggest a gathering of strength and resources before a triumphant release into flight. It manages to be a stilled meditation whose piercing insights propel it further along its journey without a single backward glance at previous themes or notes. Endlessly inventive, Harvey's radiant world guarantees more mind-expansion and pumped adrenalin than any contemporary British composer. The Wire (Rob Young) 1993 He is writing some of the most fastidious and subtly beautiful music of the present day; it embodies a degree of spiritual searching and understanding that makes the insights of currently popular ritualistic composers seem earthbound and obvious. It has a solo part of typical impulsiveness and refinement, at once virtuoso and delicate, and given a wonderfully responsive performance here by its dedicatee, Frances-Marie Uitti.

The Independent (Robert Maycock) 8 December 1990

Cello Concerto

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

Arne Deforce, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov

Cello Concerto

Tramway (Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom)

Arne Deforce, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov

Cello Concerto

Flagey (Brussels, Belgium)

Jean-Guihen Queyras, Orchestre National de Belgique, Pascal Rophé

Cello Concerto

Palacio de la Ópera (La Coruña, Spain)

David Etheve, José Ramón Encinar, Orquestra Sinfónica de Galicia

Cello Concerto

Pazo da Cultura (Pontevedra, Spain)

David Etheve, José Ramón Encinar, Orquestra Sinfónica de Galicia