Changes for cello : cello solo
by Gerald Glynn (1975)
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For the composition of Changes for Cello I evolved a system whereby each of the many voices of the instrument had an equal chance of speaking. By "voices" I mean the various ways in which the cello can be played, and speak - first there is arco (playing with the bow), then pizzicato, frappé (struck), col legno, sul ponticello (on the bridge), sul tasto (on the fingerboard) and there are also tremulandi, harmonics and glissandi. One of the cello's rarest voices is heard when the cellist sometimes ventures briefly beyond the bridge. Combining any two of these produces what might be called a "mixed voice".
For several hundred years now, one of these voices (arco) has been favoured to the exclusion of most others; my idea of presenting an overall view of its capabilities and potential was to provide a comprehensive answer to the questions "What is the cello?", "What can it do?", to put forward a veritable "compendium of cello".
Changes for Cello was written during late 1974 and 1975, as the last Vietnamese war was drawing to a close, and it is possible that something of the anguished climate of that period has infiltrated the piece.
Duration: 16 min.
First performance: by Nathan Waks — 10 Dec 81. Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Performances of this work
29 Jan 00: Gerald Glynn Retrospective concert given at the Alte Schmiede Performing Arts Centre, Vienna. Featuring Stefan Gartmayer.
21 Dec 93: Stichting Logos at Ghent, Belgium. Featuring Friedrich Gauwerky.
10 Dec 81: Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Featuring Nathan Waks.
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