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The composer states that her Cello Concerto is antithetical to her other concertos. “While in the concertos for violin and piano, in the Double Concerto, and in my new sheng concerto I was seeking to merge the solo instrument and the orchestra into a single virtuoso super-instrument, here it’s all about the competitive tension between the soloist and the orchestra. The ‘aura’ of the cello was the initial nucleus and forms the basis of the music, so the whole structure of the piece is thus ‘carried’ by the cello. However, the orchestra responds to it in an antagonistic way. This antagonism is much stronger than in traditional Classical-Romantic concertos; one could even speak of a ‘psychological warfare’ between soloist and orchestra. In my cello writing, I often ask the soloist to disguise the nature of the instrument so the perception can be blurred. I try to explore the boundaries of the cello’s expressivity and to broaden the definition of ‘expression’. Therefore I also use special playing techniques and call for unusual timbres, including noises and rasping sounds. For me, this actually serves the expressivity by suggesting new meanings. The unique artistry of Alban Gerhardt inspired me immensely. Not only his solo part but also the orchestral parts are often characterized by extreme virtuosity, by the idea of the instrumentalists being pushed to the edge.”

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