By Lisa Bielawa, inti figgis-vizueta, Jake Heggie, Vijay Iyer, David T. Little, Tod Machover, Nkeiru Okoye, David Sanford, Laura Elise Schwendinger, Roberto Sierra, Asher Sizemore, Gabriella Smith, Jorge Sosa, and Luna Pearl Woolf | For Solo Cello | 5-8′ Each

Composers: Lisa Bielawa, inti figgis-vizueta, Jake Heggie, Vijay Iyer, David T. Little, Tod Machover, Nkeiru Okoye, David Sanford, Laura Elise Schwendinger, Roberto Sierra, Asher Sizemore, Gabriella Smith, Jorge Sosa, and Luna Pearl Woolf
Performance Edition By: Matt Haimovitz
Years Composed: 2020 & 2021
Instrumentation: For Solo Cello
Duration: 5-8′

Format: Score
Page Size: 9×12″
Catalog Number: OM0205

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From Matt Haimovitz:

It never ceases to amaze me how limitless the possibilities of sound, texture, voice leading, form, abstraction, and narrative are within the voice of the cello. The composers of THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT continue to expand my perspective and understanding of the instrument. 

In this viral commissioning project spanning 81 commissions for (mostly) solo cello, my collaborator, Director Jeffrianne Young, and I asked each composer to engage and respond to two paintings: Sandro Botticelli’s iconic Primavera (c. 1480) and Charline von Heyl’s recent and prophetic Primavera 2020. From the initial nine commissioned composers, we asked for recommendations for the next nine, and so on until we will arrive at 81. In this way, we move beyond composers with whom I have a long and close working relationship, broadening the frame of reference to new discoveries, new musical languages, and new challenges.

Each composer is drawn to various aspects of the paintings, from a specific figure or flower to a larger narrative, flow, or feeling. Individually and collectively, they offer a one-of-a-kind time-travel machine between the centuries and continents. 

On one hand, the collection of works is a Tower of Babel, a cacophony of musical languages. Despite their unified inspiration, each work is a world unto its own, with a striking individuality and perspective on the cycles of nature and history brought to mind by the paintings. Yet, I encourage you, fellow cellist and music lover, to make the effort to understand these foreign languages, one at a time. Like me, you will discover an ear-opening vocabulary and abundant rewards within each of these pieces, and I guarantee you will enrich your technique and shatter the prejudices we all have about what is—or is not—idiomatic to the instrument. 

Through a series of compilation scores, Oxingale Music is bringing these pieces to current and future generations along with my performance notes—these are the fingerings, bowings, and other suggestions that I have developed through working directly with the composers as I performed and recorded the works for the first time. I see these editorial elements as a snapshot in time. No doubt, my own ideas about the pieces will continue to evolve, and while I hope these editions offer you insight into them, I encourage you to find your own solutions. Like all music worthy of enduring through time, there is no one “right” way to interpret these works. 

The collections are like the orange tree orchards of the Botticelli and the von Heyl Primavera paintings. Pick any one of the works and there is a world of fruit to relish. No doubt you will be drawn to your favorites. However, I encourage you to walk through the entire Primavera garden to fully appreciate the limitless imagination of today’s composers.

The order of the pieces in this collection follows my recording PRIMAVERA I the wind, released on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series. There are five more score compilations to come, each paired with an album in the series. You may enjoy following the scores as you listen to the album. 

My heartfelt thanks to Oxingale Music for all their work making these compilation scores a reality. My deepest gratitude to all of the composers who have joined us on this Primavera journey. The pieces in this first collection arrived, one at a time, in the midst of the darkest days of the pandemic. Each one was a flower that transported me to a musical orchard in another time and place, reminding me anew of the power of music to connect through the centuries. 

Now it is your turn.  

April 6, 2023, Marfa, Texas

Commission/Dedication: Commissioned by THE PRIMAVERA PROJECT for Matt Haimovitz.
Premiere: Various
Recording: The works in this compilation are recorded on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series album PRIMAVERA I the wind available on all platforms.

This entry was posted in Cello, Composers, David Sanford, Instrument, Luna Pearl Woolf, Matt Haimovitz, Recorded on Oxingale, Solo Cello, The Primavera Project and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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