RAINBOW CONCERTO for cello & orchestra 2002
1. slow movement 13:12
2. fast movement 15:10
CD recording: Marien van Staalen, cello, Het Gelders Orkest, Jurjen Hempel conductor on JacobTV - Rainbow BASTA 3091732
Video: Denis Shapolov, Svetlanov State Academy Symphony Orchestra, René Gulikers, Moscow Int. Perf. Arts Center.
Instrumentation: cello solo, fl(pic) fl(fl-a) ob 2cl fg fg(cfg) 4h trp trb trb-b timp perc mar hp str vc-solo
Publishers: DONEMUS ( info and order page) and PEER Clasical for North America.
‘My credo as a composer is simple: I work intuitively, and only write music I like to listen to myself. If I don't find the music I'm looking for in a record-shop, I know that it is yet to be composed. The Rainbow Concerto is a piece like that. While composing it, I often had to think of a horizon, an unreachable "yonder" which never gets closer. You can hear a vague longing for "elsewhere" in the slow first part. Could this be the unattainable Paradise? As in my oratorio Paradiso, the permanent pendulum motion between two adjacent notes give musical expression to ‘eternity’; there is a complete absence of real dissonants. The work is built up in two parts: a heavenly adagio flowing into an earthy allegro. I associate the seven-tone diatonic scale I use with the seven-colored rainbow; to me each of the seven notes has its very own sound. I wrestle with the concept of melody: is it possible to create one that does not yet exist? Often I start from a single note. Just like music, rainbows are ethereal, an illusion. I compose rather like a sleepwalker, very romantically really.’
The Rainbow Concerto was commissioned by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra for Marien van Staalen on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as a principal cellist of the orchestra. The premiere took place on February 21 2003, in the Rotterdam Doelen.
Musicologist Michael Arntz :
The work begins abruptly, as though it is the slow movement of a larger piece that exists only in the listener’s imagination. This feeling is maintained throughout; it seems as though the piece never begins, but rather hovers immovably in open musical space. Each time a new
segment begins, a breakthrough appears imminent - but it never comes. Instead, the musical events shimmer like a kaleidoscope in all manner of sound colours. This permanent standoffishness, however, makes the Rainbow Concerto dissonant in a new way: the tension, arising from the combination of horizontal and vertical structures is tightened to a climax. Jacob TV’s workplace is either in heaven or on earth. But the Rainbow Concerto plants the seeds of a long last for a reconciliation between the extremes. Just as a rainbow is an intangible bridge between heaven and earth, the concerto also cuts a fascinatingly colourful gash in musical space that grows out of nothing and eventually reverts to nothing.’