Matthew Barley/Cellist

Without music, life would be an error.

Friedrich Nietzsche

This is a short work for solo cello, dedicated to Matthew Barley. The music is mostly fast, in one continuous movement, but in three distinct sections. It is a response to half-remembered chants associated with Easter. The mood is joyful and energetic, like a sustained, physically exuberant alleluia.

The opening is marked Presto (feroce) and is full of running modal scales, little rhythmic motifs, rushing tremolos, rising phrases and ecstatic outbursts. A short, more relaxed middle section is marked piu cantabile and is more lyrical, before a new version of the opening activity is re-established. At the end there is a modal swirling, whirling up and down the fingerboard, before the music disappears into the stratosphere.

Click here to read about James Macmillan.

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