Archives for

August 19, 2012 7:30 P.M. Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland

Serenade no. 4 (Walk That Lonesome Valley)
(European premiere)
Zodiac Trio


June 10, 2012  11:00 A.M. First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough St. Boston, MA

I. The Rhedora II. Two Rivers.
III. Give All To Love  IV. Concord Hymn
Chorus of First Church Boston
Paul Cienniwa, Director
(first complete performance)


March 15, 2012   8:00 P.M. Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory, Boston, MA

The Black Cat
Sam Ou-cellist
Larry Bell-pianist
Steve McConnell-narrator


Larry Bell: The Black Cat

Sam Ou’s Cello Recital at Old South Church in Boston, MA
March 15, 2012
Larry Bell: The Black Cat (Based on a Story by Edgar Allan Poe)
Sam Ou, cello
Steve McConnell, narrator
Larry Bell, piano


THE BLACK CAT harkens back to the monodrama made popular in the nineteenth century by such Liszt melodramas as Der Traurige Monch. Richard Strauss’s later monodrama Enoch Arden, recorded by Claude Reins and Glenn Gould, inspired my adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s familiar tale of murder and madness.

I augmented the monodrama’s typical narrator-and-piano instrumentation to include a cello. The cello represents the cat; the piano portrays the man telling the story and also sets the climate for the individual scenes. The cello has its own leitmotifs, for example, a tritone glissando that mimics a “meow” similar to the effect found in Ravel’s animal opera.

Although the narrator’s part is not notated musically, I carefully connected the words with the accompanying music. Poe’s characteristic blend of the horrible and the ordinary is not without moments of humor—after all, a grown man is driven crazy by an innocent small animal!

The Black Cat (1987) was commissioned by New York Philharmonic cellist Eric Bartlett and made possible by his grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He premiered the work at the 92nd Street Y in New York with myself as narrator and pianist Wu Han. Other performances include one with tonight’s narrator—Steve McConnell—with cellist Andrès Díaz and pianist Michael Dewart. Bartlett recorded the piece on North/South Recordings (N/SR1018) with myself on the piano and Robert J. Lurtsema narrating. —Larry Bell


February 18, 2012   4:00 P.M. WRSU 88.9 FM Rutgers University, NJ

Cello Suite with Harpsichord Figured Bass
Sam Ou-cellist
Paul Cienniwa-harpsichordist
(Troy 1308-09)


February 3, 2012   7:30 P.M. David Friend Recital Hall, The Berklee College of Music, 929 Boylston St. Boston. MA

Serenade no. 4 (Walk That Lonesome Valley)
(world premiere)
Zodiac Trio


February 1, 2012   7:36 A.M. KMUN 91.9 FM Astoria, Oregon

Serenade no. 2
Aldo Abreu-recorder
Sam Ou-cello
Paul Cienniwa-harpsichord
(Troy 1308-09)


January 28, 2012  2:00 P.M. Today’s Youth Plays Today’s Music

New England Conservatory
Keller Room
Boston, MA
Ten bagatelles for piano
A. Ramon Rivera’s intermediate piano seminar
(first performance)


January 16, 2012  8:00 P.M. First Church of Boston, 66 Marlborough St., Boston, MA

Birthday party/CD release concert for the double CD
In a Garden of Dreamers
Autumnal Raptures, for tenor and harp
Exaltations of Snowy Stars, for mezzo-soprano and piano
In a Garden of Dreamers, for baritone and harpsichord
Partita no. 1 for harpsichord
Serenade no. 2 for recorder, harpsichord, and ‘cello
The Echolocations of Cellos
Ina Zdorovetchi-harpist
Thomas Gregg-tenor
Bethany Tammaro Condon-mezzo-soprano
Philip Lima-baritone
Paul Cienniwa-harpsichordist
Natalie Polito-soprano
Aldo Abreu-recorder
Sam Ou-cellist
Maja Tremiszewksa-pianist
Daniel Ascadi-guitarist
Larry Bell-pianist and conductor