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for solo cello

Year:  2022   ·  Duration:  10m
Instrumentation:  cello

Year:  2022
Duration:  10m
Instrumentation  cello

Composer:   Sebastian Black

Films, Audio & Samples

Sebastian Black: Cantastori...

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Cantastoria was composed with an usual concert in mind: surrounding the audience were to be eight paintings by the extraordinary artist, Eva Frankfurther (1930-1959), and held in the chapel of New College, Oxford, with its long, languorous acoustic. Frankfurther was a Jewish emigré to Britain, and before her tragically early death produced a large number of paintings of exceptional expressivity and depth. For much of her life she lived in Whitechapel and most striking among her output is perhaps her portraits of the residents of that community, particuarly those of Jews and newly arrived immigrants.
The title, Cantastoria, refers to tradition of storytelling in which a storyteller narrates a story while referring to a series of images—the most famous example being perhaps 'Der Moritat von Mackie Messer' from Der Dreigroschenoper (1928). This, given the nature of the concert, and lent an associative quality of the Whitechapel area by Brecht and Weill's famous song, seemed like the perfect name for the piece.
Throughout the piece I employ a scordatura tuning in which the lower two strings of the cello are detuned by a semitone—the same as that so brilliantly employed by Zoltán Kodály in his Cello Sonata (1915). It lends the cello an exuberant, powerful sonority that I found irresistible.

Contents note

  1. Declamato
  2. Presto
  3. Declamato—Presto
  4. Tense
  5. Declamato
  6. Cantilena: solemn, intense
  7. Presto