Håkon Samuelsen and Trondheimsolistene are giving the first performance of this new work in the Norwegian Opera, Scene 2, during Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Saturday aug 15 at 13:00.


Cello Stories is basically a concerto for cello and string orchestra. But from there it starts to be different. I built it up thinking of four almost filmatic stories that are interlaced. By calling them “stories” I don’t mean to say they have a plot - rather that they possess a filmatic character, a situation or tableau which i feel is striking, epic and expressive. They also ask for very different quality of sound from the solo instrument, like different personalities. One is shy, talking in short, crystal clear phrases, drawing itself back in between.

Another one is abundant and generous, with flowing sound filling a large span of pitch. A third one is hectic, on the edge between chasing and being chased. The fourth one is totally paralyzed, holding its breath, searching a strange slow pulse between nuances that almost don’t change.  As these stories come back, they undergo variations. Still without approaching eachother in any attempt to synthesis. The sudden leaps between the contrasting stories are a characteristic feature of the work. (Anyone recall Schumann…?)

The role of the solo instrument versus the orchestra could be described in this way: Everything that happens in the orchestra is born from ideas that start in the cello. You could maybe say that the cello dreamt the whole thing…

This is the second time I investigate the concerto form, after the double concerto for violin and percussion Catch Light, premiered in March this year.

Duration: 25 minutes.