Eleanor's Gift

for Solo Cello and Orchestra

Chen Yi

Performing Ensemble: Cello with Orchestra
Duration: 00:15:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Scored for solo cello, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets in B-flat, 1 trombone, harp, 3 percussionists, and strings, the cello concerto "Eleanor?s Gift" was commissioned by the New Heritage Music Foundation, Inc., to honor Eleanor Roosevelt for her tireless efforts in advancing the recognition of the rights and freedoms of the individual, at the 50th anniversary of the acceptance by the 48 nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The premiere performance was given by the Women?s Philharmonic with soloist Paul Tobias, conducted by Apo Hsu on Dec. 10, 1998 in San Francisco, where the United Nations was chartered. The revised version was premiered by the Manhattan School of Music Symphony with soloist Paul Tobias, conducted by Glen Barton Cortese, on May 21, 1999, in New York City. The concerto has also been performed and recorded by Paul Tobias and the Virginia Symphony led by JoAnn Falletta in 2003.

The solo cello opens the concerto with an expressive voice wandering in its high register, the tension is increased gradually, and the brass breaks in with angry bursts that carry a strong motif. Following is the dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra; the texture often has woven voices, with developments of the motif. After reaching a climax, the music is brought down to a long quiet section that symbolizes the course of meditation and human being?s realization. It?s a long period and hard effort to bring more civilization to non-educated people in the world.

In the concerto, I express my deep sympathy for the people, especially for the women who have suffered or are suffering from violence and ill-treatment, who don?t have the rights and freedoms that they deserve to have in society, and my passionate yearning towards peace in the world. An encouraging Chinese maxim says: to ride on the long wind, and plough through thousands of miles of waves. we have lofty ideals; we will overcome the difficulties and continue our success towards the future. The sudden epiphanies presented in the music bring in brilliant hope for the future ? we are riding on the long wind and working hard to improve our human society.

Scores & Parts

Eleanor's Gift - Full Score - Study
Eleanor's Gift - Full Score - Large

Additional Information

Composition Date 1998
Orchestration Solo Vcl.; 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 1 0; 3Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere 10th December, 1998. Paul Tobias, Cello, The Women?s Philharmonic, conducted by Apo Hsu, San Francisco, CA

Score Preview