Pi-Chin Chien, Violoncello
Concerto for 2 Violoncelli and Orchestra
Antonio Meneses & Pi-Chin Chien, Violoncello
The title of “Dialogues Cellestes” is a play on words, a “heavenly” (céleste) dialogue between two cellos and symphony orchestra. It is not only a musical dialogue, but also a dialogue between two cultures.
Antonio Meneses, who suggested that Müller write it, is Brazilian and Swiss, and Pi-Chin Chien’s homeland is Taiwan (both Brazil and Taiwan were Portuguese colonies.) The first movement features the interplay of thrilling virtuosity and lyrical moods. The second movement is based on a song-like melody which comes from Müller’s childhood when he used it in a small composition for piano. The last movement of the concerto weaves together two folksongs—one Taiwanese and one Brazilian—both love songs which use the sea as a metaphor.
The orchestration, with its reduced winds and brass and added vibraphone and celesta, creates a delicate, ethereal timbre allowing the soloists to shine through from the heavens.