Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

Samuel Adler

Duration: 00:20:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

This work was commissioned by the Institute for American Music for Stephen Geber and the Cleveland Orchestra to be premiered on the occasion of the granting of an honorary doctorate to Cleveland?s Music Director Christoph von Dohnanyi, and to honor Geber?s 25 years as principal cellist of that orchestra.

The concerto was written in the summer of 1995 and is in four movements. The first movement, a lyrical song, weaves solo cello lines against long chords held in the orchestra, or in duet with single woodwind instruments. After a sudden tutti outburst, it appears as if the cello will be overcome by the orchestra; however, the cello prevails and resumes its lyrical passages, reflecting henceforth in its melodic turns the orchestra?s march-like interruption. The movement ends with the same configuration of chords with which it began and its resolution becomes a single-note harmonic played by the soloist.

The second movement is a fast and joyous scherzo, which is almost a perpetual motion. A great deal of dialogue between orchestra and soloist occurs, and even though there are many lyrical passages, the intensity is never allowed to slacken. Some sections are witty and others quite sardonic; all are meant to be in fun.

The third movement is a slow cadenza for the soloist. The celesta provides the background to the lyric solo passages, repeating a fast run which sounds like a non-rhythmic sound curtain. There are some interpretations to the free cello lines, but as a whole this movement sounds like cello improvisation.

The final movement is fast and playful. A bright mood is set by the orchestra and the cello enters with a happy theme which forms the basis for the material of the entire movement. The form of the last movement is like a classical rondo, with the cellos? first them recurring after each contrasting section. The entire work ends rather suddenly in a breathless dash to the final cadence.

Scores & Parts

Concerto - Score and Part(s)

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Eastman School of Music.
Composition Date 1995-96
Orchestration Solo Vcl.; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Cel. Str.
Premiere First performed by Stephen Geber and the Eastman Philharmonia, Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting, October 6, 1998.

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