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Sonata (2007)

for Cello and Piano

Listen to excerpt:

Sonata for Cello and Piano - excerpt

Instrumentation:  cello and piano



I. Mysterious, transcendental

II. Rhythmic, precise

III. Flexible, soulful

IV. Marcato


Duration: 20 minutes


Program Notes:

My Cello Sonata was commissioned by David Finckel and Wu Han, codirectors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the duo premiered the piece at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 2008. Having known and worked with Jeanne and Norman Fischer for years at the Shepherd School of Music and even before that (going back to the 1980’s) at Oberlin Conservatory, I knew I would love for them to perform the piece as well, so I relished the opportunity to write a sonata for cello and piano. The work consists of four contrasting movements. The piece is anchored by the slow first movement, the longest and most substantial of the piece. The second , scherzo-like movement is a study in constant motion and shifting accents. The third movement features the cello as a solo instrument with the piano simply providing faint echoes of the cello’s music. This movement grows in intensity and eventually accelerates directly into the last movement, which features frenetic syncopated dance-like rhythms shared and passed between piano and cello.


-- Pierre Jalbert

© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, Cello Sonata

Photo:  Julia Jalbert

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