Fantasy for Cello and Cello Ensemble (2007)
This fantasy was written for the remarkable cellist, Colin Carr. At Colin's suggestion, I included an ensemble of members of his cello studio at Stony Brook University in the piece: a cello orchestra is a wonderfully rich source of timbres and textures. When I asked Colin what sort of music he wanted, he said he would like some virtuosity, but also "something of what the cello does best, singing and crying, and beauty of course." This music was written with Colin's extraordinary musical personality in mind: his passion, his sensitivity, and his inexhaustible energy.
The Fantasy is in three movements, played without pause. The first music I wrote was the final "Slow Drag" - a relaxed ragtime dance, accompanied by a pizzicato rhythm section. The trio of "backup singers" who respond to the soloist were inspired by the Temptations, that wonderful Motown group.
Elements of the Slow Drag's melody serve as source-material for the other two movements. The first movement, "Surge," features an impassioned solo melody rising up from the deepest register, as the ensemble reflects and echoes the soloist's notes in undulating, surging waves. This culminates in the first of a series of recitatives for the cello, which leads to the lively Presto. Here, again, the ensemble supports and responds to the soloist's lively melody, and the music gradually finds its way, through a series of recitatives, to the culminating Slow Drag.
The music is affectionately dedicated to Colin Carr and the amazing young musicians who presented the premiere performance with him. Colin had a lot to do with the final shape of the music, and rehearsing the piece with him was the kind of experience every composer dreams of.
Score Available for Purchase
(please contact the composer for individual parts)