Sternfeld-Dunn: Coming up against History
4 Mar 2010
Composing Out Loud
As a composer I often find that I am happiest writing music for ensembles that aren't standardized. The benefit of this is there is no literature set for the ensemble for your music to be compared to. The bad news is it's harder for you to get these pieces performed because you have to create your own group.
Of course writing for solo cello means you are putting yourself up against hundreds of years of solo cello literature and that means going up against the big man himself...J.S. Bach. You can't write a solo cello piece and not have Bach's Cello Suites looming over your shoulder. Maybe this means you react against the grain or maybe you embrace what he did but either way he is there waiting to make your solo piece look like chump change.
While my solo piece has at times been a reaction against the Cello Suites I have also decided to embrace certain aspects of these works. The second movement, Crackle!, is really an homage (or maybe a desperate attempt) at the contrapuntal writing that Bach is famous for. This movement focuses on two main aspects, two voices interacting with each other and interesting colors.
While this midi recording doesn't really capture the colors of the piece I hope you can hear the counterpoint.

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