My best friend for over 55 years is Bob Feinberg, a chiropractor who lives in Columbus, GA. He was a professional trumpet player for many years and has been teaching himself piano and now cello. A few weeks ago, he asked me if I had written anything for cello and I told him that cello is one of the few instruments I haven't composed a solo for and that I may get inspired to write him something. Peace and Joy is a result of that inspiration and is dedicated to Bob Feinberg.
When I think of my friend Bob, the first two words that come to mind are "peace" and "joy". Bob has devoted his adult years to healing the mind, body and soul. He is a caring and loving person and through his work and his personal life, he shares his love unconditionally. I believe that unconditional love is the key to peace and that is the feeling I get whenever I am around him. Bob also exudes joy. All one needs to do is to listen to him play piano and joy comes through immediately. Being a professional musician most of my life, joy is often lacking in a lot of things I do. Whenever I start feeling that way, I think of Bob playing piano and it immediately changes my outlook.
Because Bob is a beginner regarding cello technique, I limited myself to notes only playable in first position and kept most of the cello part diatonic in either the key of G (e minor) and C. My challenge was to make the piece interesting within the limitations.
I chose a triple meter of 6/8 for the first part of "Peace" and the harmony has some 7th chords, non-chord tones, and borrowed chords. At M. 11, the piano takes over the melody and the cello plays an obbligato line. At M. 19, the meter changes to 2/4 with the eighth note remaining constant. This section becomes more intense through chromaticism. M 27 contains a four measure canon between the piano left hand and the cello. The ending returns to the 6/8 with the insertion of one 4/4 measure near the end.
The second movement begins in e minor and moves to G major at M 17. The dance-like theme goes through several transformations with the most interesting being the use of syncopated stop-time to break up the steady rhythm. At M 45, a lyrical theme is introduced while the piano continues the syncopation and staccato dance style. The lyrical theme is interrupted by the syncopated stop-time section once more before bringing the movement and the piece to a rousing close.
To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/Peace_and_Joy_blog.html. You can view and hear the score if Scorch is downloaded on your computer and/or listen to the mp3 file.
As always, your comments are appreciated.