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Honegger - Cello concerto

Honegger - Cello concerto. You can download the PDF sheet music Honegger - Cello concerto on this page. The Cello Concerto plays continuously; it contains three episodes. The cleverly constructed opening Andante-allegro proceeds by passing short motifs from one group of instruments to another, sometimes in the spirit of a jazz improvisation. Three times the strings punctuate the singing line given to the soloist. The second movement, which is less casual in style, gives the cello an opportunity to spin out a recitative with an aching melancholy, reminiscent at times of a song from India. A cadenza intervenes to put an end to this lyrical passage. As in Martinu's Concertino (1924), the finale appears to follow classical sonata form, leaving the soloist to improvise the scansion of his opening theme. The development then provides the material for a dialogue between soloist and tutti which is not without humour and irony. In playing this witty, virtuoso music the soloist remains in charge of proceedings, interrupting his competitors with panache to impose the first martial theme on them once more.

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PDF format sheet music

Instrument part: 10 pages. 5517 K


Piano part: 31 pages. 16851 K


Honegger - Cello concerto - Instrument part - first page Honegger - Cello concerto - Piano part - first page
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Cello Concerto by Honegger (1930) is more like a divertimento. Honegger was the only member of the Group of Six to have leanings towards classical forms, reinventing them if he had to, just as Ravel did at the same period in his Piano Concerto in G. Ravel said of his score: "I think the music in a concerto can be brilliant and cheerful, and that it need not necessarily claim to have depth or aim at dramatic effect." Sixty years on from the genesis of these works, it has to be said that with its scoring for chamber orchestra Honegger's piece remains closer to a neoclassical, Stravinskian model than to the baroque, and that it follows the principles laid down by Ravel better than his own concerto, in which an insidious malaise wells up out of the silences, as when the orchestra brutally breaks in with the martial 6/8 theme of the Allegro.
Dedicated, like the Sonata of 1920, to Maurice Marechal, the Concerto was first performed with the First Symphony in Boston on 13 February 1931, when the dedicatee was accompanied by Serge Koussevitzky. The work remains one of the few examples of entertainment music written by Honegger at a time when his friends in the Group of Six were composing fairground sketches and saucy dances. But there is no pastiche or dilettantism here. Jazz leaves its mark in the manner of the music, not in its composition.
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