Chrysalis (2020)

Concerto for cello and orchestra
Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director, for Ralph Kirshbaum
3(III=afl, picc).2(II=corA).3(III=bcl).2(II=cbsn)
4.3.2.btrbn.1-timp.perc(3)-harp-pno-solo cello-strings
14 minutes

The Los Angeles Philharmonic
Karen Kamensek, conductor; Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
Piatigorsky International Cello Festival
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
March 22, 2020 - Premiere Cancelled TBD

Chrysalis, for solo cello and orchestra, traces a metamorphosis through disparate evolutionary and emotional stages. The cello begins encased within the orchestra, a protective yet all-consuming force, and strives to break through the swirling textures to assert its individuality. The orchestra rejects the cello’s defiant stabs at independence, overwhelming and ultimately abandoning the cello’s voice. Cast out of the orchestra’s encompassing sphere, the cello embarks on a journey through shifting sonic landscapes, seeking comfort among sorrowful melodies, finding freedom in expressive outbursts, and conjuring joy in solitude. The piece moves through moments of despair and empowerment, from yearning to belong to an elusive orchestral sound world towards embracing one’s own voice.