I have always wanted to write some music for solo cello and orchestra, ever since as a young man I played through the classic repertoire for the instrument with my cellist brother, Howard. But it is only now that the decisive impulse has come, as a result of a suggestion form Mstislav Rostropovich. I sketched out the music in the spring of 1969, and on his acceptance of the dedication, "To Mstislav Rostropovich with admiration and gratitude", made the final full score this March. It is a light-hearted work, at any rate in the first and third movements, and is scored for a Mozartian orchestra, with the addition of harp and celesta. There are no problems for the listener - only for the soloist!
Programme note © 1970 Sir Arthur Bliss