Much of the 2nd movement, 'Kora Song', is inspired by music of the African kora, a plucked gourd almost similar in sound to the harp and pizzicato cello combination that opens the movement and is often featured in it. I don’t know of many cello pieces that concentrate on pizzicato playing as much as this movement, and the playing style was developed in close collaboration with the soloist. The music frequently changes direction and features a number of cello cadenzas of smaller and larger size, sometimes with the West African djembe drum. Overall it has a gentle exuberance and is lighter in tone and more energetic than in the opening movement.
Dreamsongs is written for the generous and virtuosic playing of cellist Joshua Roman, who I’ve known for a number of years, and has been my neighbor in New York City until recently. It is dedicated to him. It was co-commissioned for him by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, Ohio, and the Bellingham Festival in Washington State.
from notes by Aaron Jay Kernis © 2018
|Kernis: Dreamsongs & other concertos|
Aaron Jay Kernis remains one of America's most distinguished composers, his works performed and commissioned worldwide. This new recording presents 'Dreamsongs'—a cello concerto in all but name—alongside his 2014 viola concerto and the Bach-inspir ...» More