The Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra was completed in January 1997. It is the most recent symphonic work of Mikis Theodorakis, who has obviously fulfilled with it the long tended wish to compose a piece for solo cello and symphonic orchestra.
Applause in Munich
Essentially, there are nine melodies used already in the song cycles "Poetica" (Liricotera) and "The Faces of the Sun".
It's characteristic melody-leadership with continuous harmonic changes forms one of the climaxes in the melodic creation of the compose which is specially revealed by his song-compositions. Theodorakis himself characterises the time after his departure from public life in his country as "lyric life", which expresses his complete turn to music.
With the Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra, Theodorakis shows once again the special affinity that he always had for this instrument. Anyway, the violoncello is for Theodorakis the instrument closest to the human voice, particularly to the melodic color of the baritone and the mezzo-soprano prevailing in his songs.
Here, there are nine songs in which the cello is used as the melody-instrument. However the composer has also assigned parts to the score, that reveal the purely technical possibilities of the instrument and its virtuosity.
Theodorakis gave the names of the nine Muses to the different sections.
© Andreas Brandes
RHAPSODIY FOR CELLO AND ORCHESTRA, AST 306
2. Erato (Poco Meno)
3. Thalia (Meno Mosso)
4. Kaliope (Piu Mosso)
8. Melpomeni (Lento)
Creation: 30.10.1998 in Munich
Tatiana Vassilieva, cello, Ukrainian Philharmonic Orchestra
dir.: Mikis Theodorakis