Violoncello concerto : cello with orchestra
by Philip Bracanin (1989)
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Written in 1989 as
a commission from Gary Williams, Principal Cello of the
Queensland Symphony, the Cello Concerto comprises two movements
of contrasting tempo and mood. The first is slow and nostalgic in
character while the second is imbued with rhythmic energy and
vibrant orchestral colours. In commissioning the work, Gary made
two requests; that I write a movement based on a melancholic
cantabile theme and include an extensive
section for cello and percussion. The principal theme of the
first movement fulfils the first request and the second movement
contains a canon for cello and two percussion instruments sounded
against a veiled and sustained string background.
Both movements are episodic in form. In the first movement the opening theme is presented three times, each time in a different orchestral context. The second time it is played by the oboe with the cello weaving a counter melody around it. Its third appearance is in the upper tessitura of the cello against a background of pastel shimmering orchestral ambience. In the second movement this theme is recalled fleetingly on the solo violin, just prior to the Doppler-like canon. Towards its conclusion the piece builds in moto perpetuo fashion with the cello diving the music ever forwards.
Instrumentation: Solo cello, 2 flutes, 2 oboes (2nd doubling horn), 2 clarinets in B flat (2nd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (2nd doubling contra-bassoon), 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B flat, timpani, percussion, strings.
Duration: 15 min.
Contents note: I. Andante cantabile e grazioso -- II. Allegro assai.
Commission note: Commissioned by Gary Williams.
- In the form/style of: Concertos
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