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Sarabesque : for solo cello

by Gerald Glynn (2006)



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Sarabesque : for solo cello / Gerald Glynn

Library shelf no. 787.4/GLY 2 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Sarabesque is the fourth work I composed for cello. I had already written Interplay for Cello and Piano (1980), the Sir Walter Raleigh Duo for Medium Voice and Cello (1978), and Changes for Cello (1975) - a large-scale work exploring every sound and voice which this remarkable instrument is capable of. Sarabesque is more modest and classic in conception - it exploits principally the cello's rich, mellifluous singing voice; only a few vigorous pizzicato punctuate the flow to remind us of another voice.

A composer who writes for bowed cello must face the fact that, inevitably, his music will be compared with famous precedents of the past, or that it will at least unconsciously evoke them. Having heard the Casals recordings of the Bach Cello Suites all through my adolescence, this comparison/evocation soon made itself felt and I welcomed it, finding some of the shapes and curves of one of his greatest Sarabandes emerging to assert themselves, but they are never actually quoted. The form of the sarabande and its sound spectrum are greatly expanded, and the rhythmic articulation is more varied - as if the sarabande of old decided to shed its rather sedate, mannered costume and dance into a wider world of movement, agitation, passion and grandeur, before subsiding, returning to the quieter, more discreet domain of its origins, finishing with the simple eloquence of its lowest, longest note.

Sarabesque was written for Maria Frodl, whom I first heard playing the cello part in my chamber song cycle Gems of the Earth, Jewels of the Sea at its European première in Vienna, 2006. There and then I decided to write something for her, and some months later, Sarabesque was the result.

Work Details

Year: 2006

Instrumentation: Cello.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Maria Frodl

First performance: by Julia Ryder — 30 Mar 08. Charisma Group concert, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Performances of this work

28 Oct 2015: at Gerald Glynn Perspective (Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Julia Ryder.

10 Dec 2008: at Maria Frodl, cello recital (Alten Schmiede - Vienna). Featuring Maria Frodl.

30 Mar 08: Charisma Group concert, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Featuring Julia Ryder.

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