Frank - Fetherolf: Serenata


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Additional Info

  • Composer
    Frank - Fetherolf
  • Publisher
    G Schirmer Inc
  • Arrangement
    Cello (CEL)
  • Format


For solo cello.

This piece was written especially for Kate Dillingham, who premiered it in two concerts:
16 March, 2018 at Sage Music Studios in Long Island City, NY
17 March, 2017 at Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, NY

Composer notes:

In my studio, as a fun and creative practice, I have been known to rewrite masterpieces. Stravinsky's final sacrificial dance from The Rite of Spring becomes a brutal tango; the taut harmonies of Ruth Crawford's String Quartet underpin new piano miniatures; and the solo part to Britten's Violin Concerto gets a completely new orchestral landscape, as if I could lift a redwood from my farm and drop it into the middle of the African Sahara. I learn so much of the psyche of past brilliant minds in these fanciful games but nothing of my "findings" ever see the light of day.

In a new and, for me, daring endeavor, I've taken musical ideas from the American composer David Fetherolf, longtime friend and mentor, and spun them into new shapes. He, in return, has reworked these according to his own whims. Our dance has not been unlike my dance with past ghosts, but it is more beautiful and personal for me, animated by real affection. And thus, I finally have real reason to let music fashioned in this particular vein of alchemy be performed and heard by others — we are delighted that the talented Kate Dillingham will realize our creative fancies in this new work for solo violoncello.

— Gabriela Lena Frank

A few years ago Gabriela and I spoke about writing a work for solo violoncello together. As neither of our schedules seemed to allow for it the idea lay fallow. This past fall, when Kate was programming her concert for March, she asked me about new works and I said, "Well, Gabi and I have talked about writing together, maybe that could work." Kate thought that was a fine idea so I asked Gabriela if time allowed. It did. Originally the idea was to create an exquisite corpse type piece, where each participant writes sections, often without full knowledge of the other's work. However, it became apparent very early in the process that our aesthetics and approaches were in such harmony that we should abandon that idea and attempt to write the work together; in one voice, as it were.

I've had the great pleasure of working with Gabriela as her editor and cohort in music making for close to 15 years. Our work together has had a collaborative aspect, as any responsive editor/artist correspondence does, and it has been gratifying to be able to intuit where some altered nuance of phrasing or dynamics in a Frank piece will make it even more of a "Gabriela Lena Frank." To create a wholly new composition together, though, has been a highlight in an association with many memorably delightful moments. What fun it's been! And, as Gabriela avers, the process has been animated by real affection.

— David Fetherolf

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