Total Cello

Recording not available.

Opis materiału
  • Composer:Krzysztof Penderecki
  • Original title: Violoncello totale
  • year of completion: 2011
  • instrumentation: solo cello
  • commission: XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition
  • Premiere: Moscow, 27.06.2011, competition participants
  • Discography: "Changing Colors: Works for Cello by Brahms, Beethoven, Debussy, etc.", Norbert Anger – cello, Genuin, 2012; "Penderecki & Xenakis Complete Works for Cello Solo", Wiktor Kociuban – cello, DUX, 2013
An important part of the contemporary cello repertoire consists of works written for instrumental competitions. Penderecki’s Violoncello totale was composed a commission from the organisers of the 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, one of the world’s prestigious competitions for performers.

The composer sat on the jury that assessed the cellists in 2011, and in the final stage he gave the performers a really tough nut to crack: his piece that calls for outstanding musicality as well as faultless technique. On the one hand, he took advantage of the cello’s natural sound and expressive qualities, akin to the human voice. On the other, he demonstrated the incredible flexibility of that instrument, which readily yields to what are termed “extended instrumental techniques”. Penderecki’s Total Cello makes use of the instrument’s typical, songlike sound in the new work’s unexpected, melancholy gypsy tune, but also of unconventional sound effects resulting from sophisticated articulations, not only on the strings, with noises, cracks and tapping sounds performed on various parts of the instrument’s body. In Moscow, the best interpreter of this under 7-minute-long piece was Edgar Moreau from France, winner of the competition’s silver medal. He fulfilled the composer’s intention in proving how universal the cello can be as an instrument.