ANNA CLYNE (b.1980): Dance for Cello and Orchestra, EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85.
Catalogue Number: 06V066
Description: DANCE is a full-fledged, full-blooded cello concerto, in five movements full of aching lyricism, vigorous action and profundity. While it might be a stretch to suggest that it "withstands comparison with Elgar’s" as the cellist does, it certainly isn’t embarrassed in the company of that pinnacle of the repertoire, and she also accurately points to their shared "romanticism, warmth and humanity". Clyne's idiom is firmly tonal and thoroughly approachable, but by introducing elements of folk-like modality into her individual harmonic vocabulary - subtly middle-eastern in this work because of her own Polish-Jewish heritage, the cellist's background, and the poem by Rumi on which the piece is based, which is worth quoting in extenso: "Dance, when you’re broken open. / Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. / Dance in the middle of the fighting. / Dance in your blood. / Dance, when you’re perfectly free." The first movement is tender, but full of repressed desolation, while the second is visceral and earthy, somewhat reminiscent of parts of Shostakovich’s 1st Cello Concerto. "In the middle of the fighting" there occurs a sudden still oasis of peace and reflection in which the cello meditates in exquisite melodic ornamentation over a repeated ground, Romantic emotion combined with Baroque formality and calm. Another slow movement follows, again over a repeated pattern, but this, appropriately the heart of the work, is grand and passionate, culminating in the powerful climax towards which the concerto is now revealed to have been leading up to this point. Following the arc of Rumi's poem, the finale crowns the work, dancing robustly with the vigour of the Dervishes, but pausing to reflect on the emotions and passions of the previous movements' melodies, reprised and elaborated. The cello is Clyne's own instrument, and this shows in her remarkably natural and idiomatic writing, including some stunning use of harmonics and double stopping. Inbal Segev (cello), London Philharmonic Orchestra; Marin Alsop.