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Bells Ring Summer (2000)

For solo cello

Commissioned by Joan and Irwin Jacobs for the La Jolla Chamber Music Society's SummerFest
Premiered by David Finckel
Duration: 3'30"

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This work is available on Augusta Read Thomas: Prairie Sketches


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Program Note

Cellist David Finckel
Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Bells Ring Summer is a short fanfare for solo cello. The music starts with bold and relentless ringing tones, like a carillon blowing in the wind. The same pitches are played on adjacent strings, celebrating the vast color fields of the cello itself. Little by little, the bells climb higher in register, while athletic and dramatic lower register events interrupt their flow. Finally, as if only a fragile echo remains, the bells ring off into silence with battuto, col legno, pizzicato, in the highest register of the instrument.

Dedicated with admiration and gratitude to David Finckel. The work was made with David's powerful, musical and exquisite sound in my ear.

—Augusta Read Thomas


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