Music for Upright Piano and Amplified Cello

by Einojuhani Rautavaara

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Einojuhani Rautavaara

Music for Upright Piano and Amplified Cello

Fennica Gehrman


I wrote this work for Erkki Rautio and Ralf Gothóni in 1977. Previously I had written two other works for upright piano, in which the sort of playing appropriate to an upright piano (as opposed to a grand piano) is combined with and overlaps a technique of playing directly on to the strings and dampers inside the piano. In this piece a similar expansion of the sound spectrum is achieved with the cello by means of amplification. However, the internal structure of the work is more diffuse, in accordance with my current suspicion of structures built on exact parameters. This scepticism has been well expressed by Samuel Beckett: ’Non-logical presentation of phenomena in the order and with the exactitude with which they are perceived before they have been distorted into intelligibility in order to conform to the chain of cause and effect.

© Einojuhani Rautavaara

An ‘upright piano’ seemed to be the ideal form of piano when both keyboard and strings (dampers etc.) were to be used simultaneously and with sufficient facility. Corresponding combina-tion of traditional and ‘experimental’ handling of instrument were realized in the cello by using both the friction sounds (through a contact microphone with amplifier) and more traditional playing.

© Einojuhani Rautavaara

Ett ’upprättstående’ piano tycks vara den idealiska formen av piano, när både tangenter och strängar (dämmare etc) användes samtidigt och med tillräcklig färdighet. En motsvarande kombination av traditionell och ’experimentell’ instrumentbehandling realiserades i cellon genom bruk av både friktionsljud (genom en kontaktmikrofon med amplifier) och mer traditionellt spelsätt.

© Einojuhani Rautavaara

Ein ›aufrechtstehendes‹ Klavier scheint die ideale Form des Klaviers zu sein, wenn Tangenten und Saiten (Dämpfer usw.) gleichzeitig und mit ausreichendem Können verwendet werden. Eine entsprechende Kombination aus traditioneller und ›experimenteller‹ Instrumentbehandlung wurde im Cello realisiert durch den Gebrauch von sowohl Friktionslauten (durch ein Kontaktmikrophon mit Amplifikation) als auch der traditionellen Spielweise.

© Einojuhani Rautavaara


vlc, pno


Chamber Works


Erkki Rautio, cello, Ralf Gothóni, piano, Helsinki, February 14, 1977.

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