Moore | Circles for Cello & (H.S.) String Orchestra

Moore | Circles for Cello & (H.S.) String Orchestra


Written for an advanced high school cellist to play with his/her own school orchestra. This is a great way to feature a fantastic cellist while introducing the whole orchestra (and audience) to some accessible trends in contemporary music. 

The orchestra students were *very* excited and engaged with this piece, and the audience absolutely loved it.

Compositional goals included:
Accessible introduction to contemporary music.
Fun and engaging parts for each section of the orchestra
Highlight both cellist and orchestra with parts that sound difficult but are relatively simple.
Clear-cut form and motivic material as a starting point for discussion of composition.

Circles is 11:00 long, in 4 movements with no breaks.

Mvt I. Circles begins high-energy and includes sweeping arpeggio figures and measured tremolo oscillations. The energy dissipates and a simple lyrical theme emerges, battling complications as they arise in the orchestra.
Mvt II. Passacaglia is built over an exotic vamp and includes jete (to imitate castanets), col legno, snap pizz and instrument slaps. 
Mvt III. Lament begins with the soloist doing slow pizzicato arpeggiations while the orchestra bows weeping chords. Eventually, everyone is pizzicato, echoing and transforming the solo line. A cello cadenza recalls material from the Passacaglia. The soloist introduces triple-stop string crossings that lead into the fourth movement.
Mvt IV. Coda is fast, with the triple stops in the solo part as a moto perpetuo, while the string sections come in one-by-one underneath. By the end, everyone is bowing and we "circle" back to the opening material of the 1st movement.

The Soloist should be fluent through 3 octaves.

Orchestra parts are easier and generally require fluency through 4th position.

Written in 2011-12 and premiered by Eric with the Mountain View High School (Loveland, CO), Peter Toews conducting. Recording is of that premier.

Eric is happy to work with the orchestra via Skype (or a similar arrangement).

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