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Cadenza II : for solo cello

by Peter McNamara (2012)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Julia Ryder from the CD Sideband.



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Library shelf no. CD 2552 [Available for loan]

Cadenza II


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Cadenza II : for solo cello / Peter McNamara.

Library shelf no. 787.4/MCN 1 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

Cadenza II is a work for solo cello where the main feature is an emphasis on extreme virtuosity, particularly independent and simultaneous techniques for the performer's left and right hands.

The first section uses free time-space rhythm and focuses on various left hand pizzicato techniques simultaneously with independent circular and col legno bowing. Left hand pizzicato harmonics are a particular innovative technique featured in this section, and are almost never employed for the instrument. The circular bowing has a very electric sound and is continually speeding-up and slowing-down, creating a very meditative background to the short and sharp pizzicato effects.

The second section is very rhythmic, and uses a repeated-note background that is transformed by different bowing positions. The foreground over this is also often left hand pizzicato, but also bowed pitches and harmonics. Added innovation in this section is the use of cross-rhythm effects between the left hand pizzicato and arco material, as well as metric modulations that are used to transition between the increasingly faster rhythmic sub-sections.

The work culminates in a climax based on rapid, indeterminate gestures where the performer improvises using a specified rhythm and pitch range only. There is then a short coda section where the work's previous material repeats briefly, but in reverse.

Work Details

Year: 2012

Instrumentation: Solo cello.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Independent parts for the left and right hand

Written for: John Addison

Commission note: Commissioned by John Addison and Ursula Caporali for the "Six Artists Seeking a Composer" Project

First performance: by Julia Ryder at Six performers seeking a composer (Sydney Conservatorium of Music) on 26 Oct 2012

Performances of this work

26 Oct 2012: at Six performers seeking a composer (Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Julia Ryder.

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