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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

Music for Cello and Orchestra (1984)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
19 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)

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Programme Note
Joan Tower Music for Cello and Orchestra (1984)
Digital perusal score available from ScoresOnDemand

  • Ensemble
    St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
    Lynn Harrell, cello
    Leonard Slatkin
    First Edition:
After a strikingly dramatic opening, this one-movement work is in three contrasting sections…. The piece is brilliantly scored, using far more percussion than one usually hears in a piece for cello solo. Tower has written so cleverly that there are huge climaxes, but the cello is never overwhelmed…. This [piece] seems like an eminently worthwhile addition to the cello repertory and I predict we will be hearing it again.
Leslie Gerber, Woodstock Times,4/9/1987
Joan Tower’s “Music for Cello and Orchestra” [has an] angular sense of drama, bright primary colors and edge-of-the-chair intensity…. Miss Tower’s piece, to borrow a phrase from Gertrude Stein, does not repeat, but insists. Repetitive figures in shifting instrumental colors begin it, but the movement is constantly altered by subtle changes of rhythm and phrase length. …At the end, Miss Tower’s colors turned even brighter and more fierce—with high-pitched wind and percussion chords and evocative uses of mallet percussion instruments. “Music for Cello and Orchestra,” a busy, tense, and very effective piece, is dedicated to Mr. [Andre] Emelianoff, Mr. [Gerald] Schwartz, and the Y Chamber Symphony.
Bernard Holland, The New York Times,10/2/1984
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