Concerto for Two Violoncelli and Orchestra

by Kalevi Aho

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Kalevi Aho

Concerto for Two Violoncelli and Orchestra

Music Finland

Description

Kalevi Aho has written for the cello in many chamber music works (quintets and quartets) as well as solo pieces including Prelude, Toccata and Postlude, written in 1974, a very virtuoso work for cello and piano. In 1983-84 he composed his Cello Concerto, having first bought a cello and studied it!

The Double Cello Concerto was a commission of the BBC for the Manchester Cello Festival 2004. The wish of the festival was that piece is not long, and this had an decisive influence on the nature of the concerto. Firstly the musical language of the concerto and the using of the solo instruments had to be very compact and concentrated. The cello is used in the concerto mostly as a singing melody instrument, which has also its great virtuosic possibilities. Secondly the piece could not be rhytmically too complex, so that the orhcestra, which has to play in the opening concert a long and difficult programme, could learn the premiere work in a short time.

The Double Cello Concerto was written during the summer of 2003. The piece comprises one long movement, in which there are some different (but not too many) contrasting musical characters. The tempo is mostly very fast and the solo writing virtuosic. The piece is very virtuosic for the orchestra, too. There are also two cantabile, slow sections and a cadenza, where both soloists play with glowing intensity. Both solo parts are all the time contrapunctally intertwined and equally difficult.


Instrumentation

3333 3221 11 1, str, 2vlc solo [pic, afl, ehn, bcl, cbsn]


Category

Works for Soloist(s) and Orchestra


Premiere

Frans Helmerson, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, BBC Philharmonic, cond. Rumon Gamba, Manchester International Cello Festival, May 5, 2004


Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by the BBC


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