Cello Suite

posted on August 1st 2014 in with 0 Comments

Instrumentation: Solo Cello

Duration: 6 minutes

Premiered by Jason Calloway on March 31, 2006

Commissioned by Jason Calloway

With the Bach cello suites as my model, I wanted to write a solo work where there was no room for another voice – each “melody” (melody – thematic material and/or often timbral identities of the material) in its own register alternating with each other.  The nature of the movements is loosely tied to the original forms (prelude, sarabande, courante, etc.) but similarly to Bach’s they are meant to drastically contrast each other.  This is taken to the extreme by writing very short movements tied together by timbral developments.  The piece is about four minutes in total length and was written for Jason Calloway.

1.     Prelude – like the original form, based on broken chords – should sound free and improvisatory

2.     Bourree I Ponticello – a lively fast dance movement with quick figures interrupted by longer note syncopations – generally a homophonic texture

3.     Allemande – traditionally displays a reflective melody – here it displays the intervals that the piece is based on

4.     Courante Presto – nervous fast running passages in a simple triple meter with a “melody plus accompaniment” texture

5.     Sarabande – aria-like, short

6.      Bourree II Tasto – they usually come in contrasting pairs – this time sounding mostly tasto