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Sonata for Cello and Piano

For Cello and Piano

Composition Date: 2000

Duration: 20'



Commissioned by Beryl Calver-Jones and Gerry Mattock. First performed by Robert Irvine (vc) and Sally Beamish (pf), 2000.

Programme Note:


The sonata was commissioned in 1999 by Beryl Calver-Jones and Gerry Mattock, and is the second in a series of commissions reflecting their support for and encouragement of my work. They asked me to create individual portraits of four friends: themselves and the first performers, the cellist Robert Irvine and myself.

The first movement, dedicated to Gerry, takes a decisive theme and explores it in detail, with a ruminating quaver accompanying motive.

This leads to the second movement; a restless scherzo with a central section reflecting my admiration of Thelonius Monk.

The third movement is for Beryl, and is a gentle pastorale, laced with birdsong.

The final movement, for Robert, is a set of variations, and shows its theme in different lights – playful, declamatory, virtuosic, expressive.

The sonata was first performed by Robert Irvine and the composer on 20th May 2000 at Strathgarry House, Killiecrankie, Perthshire. It has also been recorded on the BIS label, with the same artists.

Sally Beamish


Available Recordings:

Bridging the Day (2001)

Sally Beamish (piano)

Robert Irvine (cello)


- Gala Water (1994) for cello solo

- Bridging the Day (1998) for cello and piano

- Entre Chien et Loup (1979) for piano solo

- Lullaby for Owain (1985) for piano solo

- Kyle Song (1993) for piano solo

- Iasg (1993) for cello and piano

- The Wise Maid (2000) for cello solo

- Sonata for Cello and Piano (1999-2000)

BIS 2001

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