This Sonata for Solo Cello was written in August 2000. It is laid out on a large scale, with three substantial movements separated by two shorter pieces whose character is intermezzo-like.
I. Praeludium (d’après Tchaikovsky): a free fantasy upon the descending C major scale that opens the pas de deux in the master's Nutcracker ballet.
II. Burla: a study in teasingly-placed changing accents.
III. Sarabande: hommage to (but not pastiche of) the greatest master of all, J.S. Bach, in the year of the 250th anniversary of his death. A test of intense concentration - with the content contained in the long evolving line - for composer, player and listener alike.
IV. Serenata: a study in pizzicato, the dry humour of the center sections enclosing a lyrical guitar-strumming centre
V. Gigue en rondeau: another hommage to J.S.Bach, a moto perpetuo with episodes now boisterous, now tender, descending finally to a whirring mutter upon the cello’s bottom string, closing eventually on the open C which gives the whole work it’s basic key.
Robin Holloway, April 2002
Reproduction Rights This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer