Jump to content

Cello Sonata "The Stranger"


Recommended Posts

Hi. So this is a cello sonata. I wrote this between 2017 and 2018 and it was premiered in 2019. The recording is not the super bestest ever, but it does the job. This is the 4th long-form "sonata" type thing I wrote and it was mostly based around the idea of augmented chords within a kind of neo-romantic style.

MP3
0:00
0:00
PDF
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some moments in this where you have cross-relations/chromatic conflicts that bothered me like in the very beginning in meas. 6 where the cello has a Bb while the piano has B naturals in all it's registers even in the same exact register where the cello is at.  Something that impresses me is how you've managed to write distinct lines for the cello and piano even though they quite often occupy the same low register and it normally has the tendency to get muddy.

1st movement:  I like how you manage to build the whole movement out of the melody stated in the very beginning by the cello during the pianos march-like accompaniment.  You transform that melody throughout the movement into many various uses and I can hear how integral it is to how the movement was built.

2nd movement:  Quite a hypnotic and lyrical mood you manage to set with this one!  I think sometimes it seems like you over-orchestrate with the piano instead of letting the cello have some shining moments like for example meas. 108 where you double the cello with forte triplets which seems like overkill to me.  It would have been a nice segue into the next section if the cello had been allowed to play that solo imo.  Ending the same way you began is a nice touch.

3rd movement:  I like how you bring back the motif from the 1st movement.  It's a nice way to bring the whole sonata to a close.

I think throughout this performance I felt like the cello was a bit indistinct especially in it's projection of the highest notes.  Intonation in that range was also a bit questionable but I do admire your determination to get this performed which is maybe a bit easier in a chamber setting.  Overall this was an enjoyable sonata!  Thanks for sharing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, PaperComposer said:

Something that impresses me is how you've managed to write distinct lines for the cello and piano even though they quite often occupy the same low register and it normally has the tendency to get muddy.

What I heard from a lot of cellists, including the one that played in that recording is that usually cello sonatas try to keep the cello above the piano, so a lot of the instrument low range gets thrown out. I did the exact opposite, and unfortunately this version of the recording had the cello at too low volume (the mic was next to the piano instead) so it doesn't sound as distinct as it did live. I think that it's not the register that matters but what each instrument is doing, so you can make the piano and cello occupy the same space and yet have them sound different enough that nothing gets muddied.

 

I was going to get this re-recorded, but then stupid virus happened. Maybe I'll still do it next year, we'll see.

 

As for measure 108, I think it needed more loud and drama. I tend to write out my dynamics more than actually just indicating them, but even so I don't think the cello alone would've done the job since I just like how the piano sounds hammering the octaves there.

24 minutes ago, PaperComposer said:

I think throughout this performance I felt like the cello was a bit indistinct especially in it's projection of the highest notes.  Intonation in that range was also a bit questionable but I do admire your determination to get this performed which is maybe a bit easier in a chamber setting.

This was a live recording of a concert I put together last year and there was a technical problem with this performance so, uh, I salvaged what I could. Hence, why I want to get it re-recorded properly. There's a pretty big mistake in the first movement too, which is annoying. But well, the show must go on and I couldn't have'em stop and do it over and due to ...logistics, I couldn't record the final rehearsal, which is usually my favourite time to record stuff since there's no audience and the musicians can concentrate more and if we need to do over we can. I'm not making this same mistake again, that's for sure.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...