Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

Peter Mennin

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Quick Overview

I. Allegro moderato-Flute and bassoon present a soft melodic line, followed by a second musical idea in the strings. They are extended and developed in the orchestra before the third contrasting idea is presented. The soloist enters and proceeds in an authoritative elaboration of the initial idea before developing the various ideas in combination with the orchestra in polyphonic textures. After a prolonged orchestral interlude, the solo cello has an extended cadenza-coda in which the various musical ideas are presented in new ways before closing the movement.
II. Adagio The main musical idea is first presented in the strings and is a long, extended melodic line in a harmonic setting. The cello enters for a series of variation-like passages, generally related to the thematic material, but distinct from it, Variation technique, and not variation form, is at the basis of this cantabile movement. The solo cello and orchestra interact in different ways during the course of this movement,
III Allegro vivace-This movement opens with a flourish and prepares for the entrance of the cello statement of a toccata-like figure which is then repeated and developed as the movement unfolds. A broad, dramatic melodic idea forms a contrasting musical idea which is modified and elaborated upon by both the cello and orchestra. The effect of the finale is toccata-like, virtuosic in its demands on the soloist and orchestra, and comes to a close with a final gathering of musical ideas presented in a highly rhythmic and propulsive manner.

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Scores & Parts

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra - Solo Part with Piano Reduction

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Julliard Musical Foundation.
Composition Date 1955
Duration 00:25:00
Orchestration Solo Vcl.; 1(Picc) 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
Premiere February 10, 1956. Leonard Rose with Jean Morel conducting the Juilliard Orchestra