Concerto for Cello

John Woolrich (1954)

Concerto for Cello 1998

3223 - 4331 - timp - perc(2) - strings
Duration 
23
Solist 
Genre 
Publisher 

My concerto starts softly, high in the cello's register, and gently and slowly falls towards the 'earth' of a heavy-footed hocket for cello and orchestra (coloured by two exotic drums: a Taiko and three Djuns Djuns). The orchestra amplifies and extends the timbre of the cello: particularly the dark (low brass, drums and timpani), the lyrical (the flugel horn, for instance) and the soft (low flutes, whispering strings. . . ). When I wrote the piece I was haunted by the alchemical notion that the night sky is blackest just before dawn ('the darkness, darker that darkness' I think Jung said) and then turns white with the dawn. I wrote my cello concerto in memory of the young composer and flute player Jo Johnson, who died last year.

John Woolrich, 1998

Performances 
10.10.98, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, St Andrew's Hall: Steven Isserlis/Philharmonia Orchestra/Hugh Wolff
10.4.00 De Montfort Hall, Leicester: Steven Isserlis/Philharmonia Orchestra/Hugh Wolff
17.6.06 Aldeburgh Festival: Jean-Guihen Queyras/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Oliver Knussen
3
Flute
2
Oboe
2
Clarinet
3
Bassoon
3rd contrabassoon
4
Horn
3
Trumpet
3rd flugel horn
3
Trombone
3rd bass trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
2
Percussion
3 djun djuns, sizzle cymbal, taiko, tam-tam
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