• John Joubert
  • Concerto in Two Movements for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 171 (2011)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

John Joubert’s Concerto in Two Movements for Cello and Chamber Orchestra was first performed on Sunday 4th March 2012 in St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury, by the Northern Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Berman, with cellist Raphael Wallfisch. The Concerto was commissioned by Raphael Wallfisch.

  • 2(2pic)222/0+2hn000/str
  • cello
  • 24 min

Programme Note

In planning my new concerto I decided to depart from the more traditional three-movement convention and cast it instead into two interrelated movements – a slow and a fast – in which the second is based on essentially the same material as its predecessor. The four main themes of the first movement unfold in a succession of basically melodic but contrasted ideas, the last of which expands into the central climax of the movement. After this the three first themes recur in the same order as before, bringing the movement to a quiet conclusion.

The second movement begins with a slow soliloquy for cello alone. This leads into the main body of the movement which, now in a lively allegro tempo, revisits in varied form the four main themes of the first. The last of these reappears as a fugue for string quartet for which the cello provides the first entry of the subject. This is interrupted by another reflective monologue for solo cello introducing the second half of the movement, with the basic themes repeated in various ways leading to an energetic dialogue between solo and orchestra. Eventually they coincide in an emphatic final cadence in the main key of the work – Ab major.

The concerto was commissioned by Raphael Wallfisch and is dedicated to my cellist daughter, Anna.