Cello Concerto

Daniel Asia

Duration: 00:25:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The Cello Concerto is in the usual three movements, with the traditional format of fast, slow, fast.

The first movement opens with a sharply rhythmic theme in the orchestra, which is decidedly extrovert and brash. These materials are developed in the cello part through a process of elaboration and troping, in a quite playful manner. As the materials tend toward exhaustion, a new, lyrical and emotionally quiescent theme is stated. It appears twice in different orchestral settings, before a return to the opening materials. This is followed by a cadenza, which, while exploring the materials of this movement, also subtly introduces a quick glimpse of harmonic ideas which are pursued in the final movement. A brief coda brings the movement to a close.

The second movement is, for the most part, a soulful melody, in an adagio tempo. Starting quietly in the lowest range of the cello, by the conclusion of the movement, the cello has made its way to a searing restatement of this melody in its highest register, only to collapse upon itself in exhaustion and retreat back to the lower register. There are other themes of a more moderate speed that provide a sense of gentle rumination, as well as a choral that leads back to the opening. The conclusion recalls the chorale music as the music fades into oblivion.

The third and final movement regains the energy of the first movement and then some. Marked allegro vivace, after a brief orchestral opening, the cello seems almost never to stop playing. The movement drives onward with a sense of breathless impetuousness and daring, with the cello engaged in rapid figures, or aggressive doublestops (the playing of two notes at once). The orchestra provides a colorful counterpoint to this relentless energy, providing a harmonic structure, as well as a subtle commentary, on the furious goings-on in the cello. In a clear and transparent variation form, the movement ends with a brief coda, like the first movement, that brings the entire work to a crisp and triumphant close.

This 25? work was commissioned by Carter Brey, the Greensboro (NC) and Columbus (OH) Symphony Orchestras, the Seattle Youth Symphony, and the Cabrillo Music Festival.

Additional Information

Composition Date 1997
Orchestration Solo Vcl.; 2(Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2 2(Cbsn.) - 4 2 2 0; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere Commissioned by Carter Brey, the Greensboro (NC) and Columbus (OH) Symphony Orchestras, the Seattle Youth Symphony, and the Cabrillo Music Festival


I. Moderato
II. L=60, ma con rubato
III. Allegro Vivace

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