Cello Concerto Grosso

for Violoncello and Orchestra

Commissioned by Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle Zürich, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester,
Toronto Symph. Orch., Seoul Phil. Orch.

Description

First performance: 16 June, 2011, Berlin, Philharmonie
Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Peter Eötvös
Miklós Perényi, violoncello

 

The work is a dialogue in multiple levels: The solo cellist performs with the orchestral cello section, and soloist and cello section both enter into dialogue with the whole orchestra. The concerto retains the classical form of three-movements which could be characterised as ‘energetic, dance-like’, ‘meditative’ and ‘fresh and sparkling’. The music also cites instrumental techniques of Transylvanian folk music such as the ‘Bartók pizzicato’ with its cracking percussive sound.

/Peter Eötvös/

Synopsis

The  meaning of a Concerto Grosso refers to not only one but a whole group of soloists who are competing with the orchestra.  The double title ‘Cello Concerto Grosso’ refers to the orchestral set as besides the 8 cellist ( concertino ) I integrated a  soloist as a ‘fore dancer’ .
My concerto is a series of short dance-acts, it well may be that the “last dance” is coming from a traditional Transylvanian culture which is doomed to a slow disappearance….
Luckily about a decade ago Béla Bartók and László Lajtha were collecting and noting down the music of  these dances, which explain us how they were playing these instrumental dances traditionally.
Since my oratorium ‘Atlantis’ I was using these special Transylvanian rhythm in some of my compositions, this characteristic melody form.
A quiet sadness is always present as this may be the last time that we’re dancing together.
For these special play-techniques not only the Bartók Pizzicato  (clashing pluck sounds) belongs to, but also the dance-like breezy Glissandos, which refers to that these dance music were often played on string instruments.
In this Concerto 3 dance-situations are rotating: men’s throbbing with their legs slowly, women’s slow floating dance, and their joint dance which is torn apart from time to time as many of them don’t know the moves anymore….
/Peter Eötvös/

Performances

25 Jan, 2019
Gothenburg, Sweden

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle in the skies, Cello concerto grosso, Alle vittime senza nome

Cond.: Peter Eötvös
Gothenburg Orchestra

25 Jan, 2019
Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle in the skies
Eötvös: Cello concerto grosso
Eötvös: Alle vittime senza nome
Bartók: Miraculous Mandarin
Cond: Peter Eötvös

24 Jan, 2019
Gothenburg, Sweden

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle in the skies, Cello concerto grosso, Alle vittime senza nome

Cond.: Peter Eötvös
Gothenburg Orchestra

24 Jan, 2019
Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Eötvös: Gliding of the eagle in the skies
Eötvös: Cello concerto grosso
Eötvös: Alle vittime senza nome
Bartók: Miraculous Mandarin
Cond: Peter Eötvös

22 Nov, 2014
Paris, France

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso, Speaking drums, DoReMi

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso (Jean-Guihen Queyras, vcl)
Eötvös: Speaking drums (Martin Grubinger, percussion)
Eötvös: DoReMi (Goto Midori, vl) - French premiere
Boulez: Notations

Conductor: Peter Eötvös
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

Auditorium de Radio-France

22 Nov, 2014
Paris, France

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso (Jean-Guihen Queyras, vcl)
Eötvös: Speaking drums (Martin Grubinger, percussion)
Eötvös: DoReMi (Goto Midori, vl) - French premiere
Boulez: Notations

Conductor: Peter Eötvös

Auditorium de Radio-France

12 Jul, 2014
Szombathely, Hungary

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

International Bartók Festival
Savaria Symph. Orchestra
Miklós Perényi, vcl, cond. Gregory Vajda

 

15 Mar, 2014
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo

Eötvös: zeroPoints
Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso (Eric-Maria Couturier, vcl)
Kurtág: Messages
Kodály: Háry suite
Conductor: Peter Eötvös

15 Mar, 2014
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Eötvös: zeroPoints, Cello Concerto Grosso

Eötvös: zeroPoints
Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso (vcl. Eric-Maria Couturier)
Kurtág: Messages
Kodály: Háry suite

Conductor: Peter Eötvös
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo

15 Nov, 2013
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien,
violoncello: Sung-Won Yang
conductor:  Johannes Kalitzke
Musikverein, Vienna

 

27 Sep, 2013
Bratislava, Slovakia

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Bratislava Orchestra
Vcl: Miklós Perényi

 

3 Nov, 2012
Seoul, South Korea

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra

Seoul Music Festival

Ligeti: Concert Romanesc
Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso (Sungwon Yang, violoncello)
Kurtag: New messages for orchestra
Bartók: Piano concerto No 2 (Sunwook Kim, piano)

Cond: Peter Eötvös

Seoul Arts Center

 

3 Nov, 2012
Seoul, South Korea

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Seoul Music Festival

Ligeti: Concert Romanesc
Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso (Sungwon Yang, violoncello)
Kurtag: New messages for orchestra
Bartók: Piano concerto No 2 (Sunwook Kim, piano)

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra

Seoul Arts Center

 

22 Sep, 2012
Bergen, Norway

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Bergen Festival

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Miklós Perényi, violoncello
Cond: Peter Eötvös

22 Sep, 2012
Bergen, Norway

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Bergen Festival

Miklós Perényi, violoncello

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

20 Sep, 2012
Bergen, Norway

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Bergen Festival

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Miklós Perényi, violoncello
Cond: Peter Eötvös

20 Sep, 2012
Bergen, Norway

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Bergen Festival

Miklós Perényi, violoncello

Cond: Peter Eötvös
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

7 Mar, 2012
Toronto, Canada

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

New Creations Festival

Eötvös: zeroPoints
Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso
Joseph Johnson, violoncello
Cond: Peter Eötvös

7 Mar, 2012
Toronto, Canada

Eötvös: zeroPoints, Cello Concerto Grosso

New Creations Festival

Joseph Johnson, violoncello
Cond: Peter Eötvös

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

16 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Tonhalle Zürich

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös

16 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös
Tonhalle Zürich

14 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Tonhalle Zürich

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös

14 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös
Tonhalle Zürich

13 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Tonhalle Zürich

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös

13 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös
Tonhalle Zürich

12 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Tonhalle Zürich

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös

12 Oct, 2011
Zürich, Switzerland

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz
Eötvös: Violoncello concerto grosso
Bartók: Concerto for orchestra
Cond: Peter Eötvös
Tonhalle Zürich

18 Jun, 2011
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

Miklós Perényi, vcl
Cond: Peter Eötvös
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

18 Jun, 2011
Berlin, Germany

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso
new piece for violoncello and orchestra
Miklós Perényi, vcl
Cond: Peter Eötvös

17 Jun, 2011
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso

first performance

Miklós Perényi, vcl
Cond: Peter Eötvös
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

17 Jun, 2011
Berlin, Germany

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Eötvös: Cello Concerto Grosso
new piece for violoncello and orchestra
first performance

Miklós Perényi, vcl
Cond: Peter Eötvös

Details

Genre:
Duration:
27 minutes
Date:
2010/2011

Publisher information

Orchestration     

TITLE Dur. Soloists & choir fl ob cl bcl bn   hn tpt tbn tba   perc pf hp   vn1 vn2 va vc db Other Tech
Cello Concerto Grosso
Concerto
27'vc33303 2230 401 88886timp,​ cel

3 Flutes (2nd also Alto flute, 3rd also Piccolo) ·
3 Oboes (3rd also Cor anglais) ·
3 Clarinets (1st in Bb and A, 2nd in Es, 3rd in A and Bass clarinet) ·
3 Bassoons (3rd also Double bassoon) –
2 Horns in F ·
2 Trumpets in C ·
2 Trombones (1st Tenor trombone, 2nd Bass trombone) ·
1 Double bass trombone ·
4 Percussion players (3rd player: timpani and percussion can be performed by a single player)
1 Harp ·
1 Celesta
Strings: 8 · 8 · 8 · 8 [Concertino] · 6 [4.-6. five-string basses]

Orchestral seating: the seating of the orchestra is as customary. It is important that the 8 Violoncellos are placed between the Violins II and the Violas. The Violas should be in front of the Double basses.

Further information

Laut der ursprünglichen Bedeutung des Concerto grosso wetteifert nicht nur ein Solist, sondern eine ganze Gruppe von Solisten mit dem Orchester. Der Doppeltitel, Cello Concerto Grosso weist darauf hin, dass ich neben den acht Cellisten des Orchesters – als Concertino – auch einen Violoncello-Solisten, wie einen “Vortänzer”, mit einbezogen habe. Mein Concerto ist eine Aneinanderreihung kurzer Tanzszenen, vielleicht sogar der “letzte Tanz” der traditionellen transsylvanischen Kultur, die zum allmählichen Verschwinden verurteilt ist.

Glücklicherweise haben neben anderen auch Béla Bartók und László Lajtha noch vor etwa einem Jahrhundert Materialien gesammelt und aufgezeichnet, die belegen, wie damals die instrumentale Tanzmusik traditionell gespielt wurde. Seit meinem Oratorium Atlantis (1995) verwende ich in einigen meiner Kompositionen auch diese speziell transsylvanischen Spieltechniken und charakteristischen Melodiewendungen. Stets mit einer leisen Wehmut, denn dies ist vielleicht das letzte Mal, dass wir miteinander tanzen. Zu solchen Spieltechniken gehören nicht nur die häufigen, als “Bartók-Pizzicato” bekannten, knallend gezupften Töne, sondern auch die tänzerisch schwungvollen Glissandi, die besonders darauf hinweisen, dass diese Tanzmusik in der Regel mit Streichinstrumenten gespielt wurde. Drei Tanzsituationen wechseln sich regelmässig ab: Der stampfende Tanz der Männer, die langsam schwebenden Tänze der Frauen und die gemeinsamen Tänze, die von Zeit zu Zeit bruchartig auseinanderfallen – zu viele kennen die Schritte bereits nicht mehr…

/Peter Eötvös/

 

A concerto grosso eredeti értelme nem csupán egy szólistára, hanem a zenekarral versengő szólisták egész csoportjára vonatkozik. A kettős cím „cselló concerto grosso” a zenekari összeállításra utal, mivel a nyolc csellista (concertino) mellett a szólistát mintegy „előtáncosként” állítom színpadra.
Versenyművem rövid táncjelenetek sora; az „utolsó tánc” a lassú eltűnésre ítélt hagyományos erdélyi kultúrából származik…
Szerencsére azonban Bartók Béla és Lajtha László egy évszázaddal ezelőtt összegyűjtötte és lejegyezte e táncok dallamát, amelyből megtudjuk, hogyan játszották eredetileg őket.
„Atlantis“ című oratóriumom óta kompozícióim némelyikében ezeket a különleges erdélyi ritmusokat, ezt a jellegzetes dallamformát használtam.
Mindig jelen van bennük egy bizonyos csendes szomorúság, hiszen lehet, hogy most táncolunk együtt utoljára.
E különleges játéktechnikákhoz tartozik nemcsak a Bartók pizzicato (csattanó pengetett hangok), hanem a táncszerű levegős glissando is, mely jelzi, hogy ezt a tánczenét gyakran vonóshangszereken játszották.
A Concertóban három táncszituáció váltakozik: a férfiak lassú lábdobbanása, a nők lassú lebegő tánca és az közös táncuk, mely időről időre felbomlik, mivel sokan közülük már nem ismerik a mozdulatokat…
/Eötvös Péter/

Sound

Recordings

Video

First Movement – Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, 2016