The idea of composing a solo cello piece had been in the back of my mind for many years, especially since many cellists had been urging me to do so. When Thomas Demenga asked me for this at my 85th birthday concert in Basel (in 1994) for a concert he was giving sponsored by the Naumburg Foundation in New York, I soon set to work. Thomas Demenga had already impressed me greatly when he played some of my chamber works at my 80th birthday concert in Badenweiler, Germany and especially by his wonderful recording of these works for ECM, New Series.
Figment, for solo cello, presents a variety of contrasting, dramatic moments, using material derived from one musical idea.
— Elliott Carter
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