Of Consonance and Contention... (2007)

Sheet Music

        I.  Warm
        II.  Intensely

Instrumentation:  3 cellos

Duration:  ca. 14 min.  

Premiere:  4/17/2008, Griswold Hall, Peabody Conservatory; DaVin Lee, Jong Bin Kim, Seeyoung Kang, cello

Program Notes:  
        Of Consonance and Contention‚Ķ for three cellos was written during the spring of 2007 and the fall of 2007, with a four-month hiatus taken during the summer months.  The piece musically explores the paradox of consonance and contention coexisting, something evident in nature and life itself. 

        The first movement, Warm, acts as a calm and majestic prelude to the unceasingly intense second movement.  Full, rich, swelling chords move through slow-pulsing harmonies in the low register of the cellos.  This rich texture of chords slowly rises to the open A string of the cello with various harmonics bursting from the ethereal texture.  The rich low register chords return followed by a quiet, majestic resolution. 

        The second movement, Intensely, was actually completed before the first movement was started.  A single unison F alternates between the cellos with extreme intensity and aggression.  The half-step below enters, adding a jagged harmony to the already rhythmically irregular texture.  This texture of a minor second moves through a series of chords and timbres, never reaching its final resolution.  After a soaring, arduous climax, rich, quiet chords enter, reminiscent of the first movement, pushing to a final stagnant, pulsing chord extending to nothing.

Honorable Mention, Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award Competition, 2009


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