CELLO SUITE (2010) Op. 110

Opus number: op. 110

Title: Cello Suite






Epilogue (all played without pause)

Instrumentation: Cello and obligatto harpsichord (written as unrealized figured bass)

Written for: Sam Ou and Paul Cienniwa

Date written: 2010

Length: fifteen minutes

Premiere performance: May 19, 2011, Sam Ou, cellist, Paul Cienniwa, harpsichordist, Brown Hall at New England Conservatory

Program notes: Since the summer of 2009, I have written a number of pieces for harpsichord that were inspired by the playing of my friend Paul Cienniwa. In the spring of 2010 Paul asked if I would create a piece for harpsichord written entirely in the thoroughbass technique that was common in the Baroque era. (Then, only the bass line was written out. The harmony was implied by a set of numbers and figures.) Not content to write a solo harpsichord piece in this manner, I refashioned an earlier solo viola piece, Dark Orange Partita, for solo ‘cello. Then I added the harpsichord, written in figured bass, as an obbligato accompaniment. The cellist Sam Ou and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa are the dedicatees of this piece.

The form and order of movements also follows Baroque practice: Prelude, Allemande, Aria (a kind of Sarabande), Courante, and Gigue. The last section, Epilogue, is flashback to the opening Prelude with a momentary recall of the Aria.

Recording: Sam Ou and Paul Cienniwa, Larry Bell: In a Garden of Dreamers, Albany Records (1308/09)