Cello Concerto (Barber)

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Samuel Barber's Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in A minor,[ citation needed ] Op. 22, completed on 27 November 1945 ( Heyman 1992 , 252), was the second of his three concertos (the first being his Violin Concerto and the third his Piano Concerto). Barber was commissioned to write his cello concerto for Raya Garbousova, an expatriate Russian cellist, by Serge Koussevitzky on behalf of Garbusova and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Funds for the commission were supplied, however, by John Nicholas Brown, an amateur cellist and a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra ( Heyman 1992 , 248). The score is dedicated to John and Anne Brown ( Barber 1952 , 1). Barber was still on active duty with the U. S. Army at the time he received the commission, and before beginning work asked Garbousova to play through her repertoire for him so that he could understand her particular performing style and the resources of the instrument ( Heyman 1992 , 249). Garbousova premiered it with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Symphony Hall, Boston, on 5 April 1946, followed by New York performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on 12 and 13 April ( Heyman 1992 , 252). The concerto won Barber the New York Music Critics' Circle Award in 1947 ( Heyman 1992 , 257).

Samuel Barber American composer

Samuel Osborne Barber II was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. He is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century; music critic Donal Henahan stated, "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim."

A minor tonality

A minor is a minor scale based on A, with the pitches A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Its key signature has no flats and no sharps. Its relative major is C major and its parallel major is A major.

The work has remained obscure and performances are scarce, largely because of its extreme technical demands, but also because the heavy editing of the solo part by Garbousova hinders individual interpretation ( Davies 1999 , 34).

The work has three movements:

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Andante sostenuto
  3. Molto allegro e appassionato

The concerto is scored for solo cello and an orchestra consisting of 2 flutes, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets (second doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 3 trumpets, timpani, snare drum, and strings.

Oboe musical instrument of the woodwind family

Oboes belong to the classification of double reed woodwind instruments. Oboes are usually made of wood, but there are also oboes made of synthetic materials. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. A soprano oboe measures roughly 65 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column. The distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word oboe is used alone, it is generally taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais, or oboe d'amore

Clarinet type of woodwind instrument

The clarinet is a family of woodwind instruments. It has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist.

Bass clarinet musical instrument

The bass clarinet is a musical instrument of the clarinet family. Like the more common soprano B clarinet, it is usually pitched in B, but it plays notes an octave below the soprano B clarinet. Bass clarinets in other keys, notably C and A, also exist, but are very rare. Bass clarinets regularly perform in orchestras, wind ensembles/concert bands, occasionally in marching bands, and play an occasional solo role in contemporary music and jazz in particular.

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