Concerto for cello and strings (cello with string orchestra)
by Paul Sarcich (2001)
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Library shelf no. 784.7174/SAR 1 [Available for loan]
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This concerto contains no programmatic associations, but is a working-out of purely musical ideas, cast in a form of two impassioned debates set around a meditation.
The first movement opens with the cello laying out some material which will be developed in the course of the whole piece. A brief cadenza-like section for the solo cello leads to a fugato buildup for the orchestra into an extended development section. Textures and tempi change, but the entire movement is a discussion of the opening material, with a more extended solo cadenza before the end.
The second movement requires the soloist to play over an almost continuous drone on an open string, while the orchestra weaves meandering counterpoint around the solo lines. A central climactic section takes places over the open string drones of the orchestral celli and basses, before the movement dies away by progressing backwards to the opening.
The third movement contrasts vigorous rhythmic work, including propulsive "scrubbing" from the strings, with a more languid central section which builds to an intense climax before reverting to driving rhythmic work again. These two basic styles are batted back and forth before the movement heads toward its close with a driving recapitulation of the opening of the first movement, with the soloist screaming in glissando over the top. Quick recalls of some of the major ideas from the third movement conclude the piece.
Instrumentation: Solo cello, strings.
Duration: 26 min.
Contents note: In 3 movements.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Anna Sarcich
- In the form/style of: Concertos
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