Matthew Charles Weiss
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Pranakasha Productions
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The Octava Chamber Orchestra
Seattle, WA USA

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"Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra"
with soloist Chris Worswick

Solo Cello part available at:

Score and parts available at:

Hi Everyone!

I hope you made it to our Octava Chamber Orchestra Summer Extravaganza at Edmonds United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 20th 2019. This year all our new music featured local composers from the Greater Seattle area, including the premiere of my "Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra" performed by cellist Chris Worswick with the Octava Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ian Alvarez.

I finished this piece in June 2019 after it had been sitting on the shelf half completed for about 5 years. It was originally intended to be the 2nd movement of my cello concerto, however my cello teacher Benjamin Louwersheimer convinced me to show some mercy to the soloist and write a new 2nd movement that wasn't so technically challenging. So now, this piece shall remain forever standing on its own two feet as the "Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra" :)

To me, this Fantasy has an Eastern European flavor to it, something you might expect from Rimsky-Korsakov or Borodin. We begin in A minor with muted strings playing figures that depict an icy wind blowing over an arctic landscape. The solo cello soon enters with the main theme followed by the second theme in E minor in the bassoon and horns as the solo cello accompanies with descending arpeggios. The intensity increases until finally the orchestra takes over cadencing in F# minor followed by closing material in the trumpet over tremolos in the strings. All the melodic material up to this point is taken from a violin duet that I sketched out in the late 1980's while attending The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington USA.

Next is a development section starting with trills in the woodwinds. The solo cello then enters with a new treatment of the “icy wind” figure and things take off from there eventually disintegrating into tremolos in the strings. This concludes all the material that was composed 5 years previously.

We now enter a second development section which begins all the material composed in June 2019. Here we incorporate various fragments of the main theme etc. into the solo cello and orchestral tapestry. The tension gradually builds to an orchestral tutti in which we now get the main theme in all the strings and trumpet in C minor after which we are suddenly catapulted into D minor with the solo cello’s response. Soon we return to A minor and then we have a recap of the second theme in the horns and bassoons followed by some closing material leading up to the cello cadenza.

We exit the cadenza with the solo cello starting off a 5-part canon with the woodwinds that finally culminates with the clarinet and bassoon playing closing melodic material answered by the solo cello as elements of the strings strum pizzicato chords imitating a guitar. Everything wraps up as the solo cello makes a gradual ascent finally reaching a high A harmonic and then we hear the familiar trumpet closing material that appeared before the first development section.

Hope you like it :)


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