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Rolf Wallin

Publisher: Chester Music

Ground for Cello and 15 solo strings (1996)
Commissioned by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
Work Notes
String parts may be doubled or tripled in performance
Chester Music Ltd
Soloists and Orchestra
Sub Category
Soloists and String Orchestra
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
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Programme Note
Rolf Wallin Ground for Cello and 15 solo strings (1996)
Divisions on a Ground was a favoured cyclic form in the Baroque era. A short bassline with appropriate chords is obstinately repeated as a basis for constant melodic development. The form can be perceived as a picture of the never-ending cycle of life, whether it be the unpretentious 'La folia' or the deeply tragic 'When I Am Laid in Earth'. In 'Ground', a sequence of seven chords creates such a basis, although this is not as clearly perceptible as in the baroque examples of the form.

The role of the baroque division was often to highlight the astounding virtuosity of the soloist. This piece contains indeed a high grade of virtuosity, but it is hardly the central issue. 'Ground' is about finding rest.

Programme note © 1996 Rolf Wallin

Preview the score

  • Ensemble
    Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Concerti); Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (Ground); Oslo Sinfonietta (Boyl)
    Leif Arne Tangen Pedersen, clarinet; Tom Vissgren, timpani; Øystein Birkeland, cello
    Rolf Gupta (Timpani Concerto); Christian Eggen (Boyl/Clarinet Concerto); Terje Tønnesen (Ground)
The ferocious cadenza for solo cello that kick-starts Ground for cello and strings (1997) is a gestrure of unmistakable confidence – here is a composer who knows exactly what he wants.
Martin Anderson, International Record Review,07/01/2002
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