Written for cellist Martin Johnson, Frank Corcoran’s Cello Concerto (2012) will be premiered by Johnson and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra with conductor Kenneth Montgomery on 13 March 2015 at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
As long as I can remember, I always wanted to compose a concerto for cello and orchestra, but I lacked the courage and the means till I had written my violin concerto ( premiered by Alan Smale with the N.S.O. under Christopher Warren-Green in 2012 ). As soon as that work was born , I felt I was free. And my soloist, Martin Johnson, then said a mighty thing to me: “Frank, the cello must soar. Let it soar. Let it sing.”
So I did. With its four movements and over half an hour duration the cello concerto is longer, bigger. It hovers between Dvorak and Lutoslawski – of course. It has to. As in both its mighty predecessors, the solo instrument here must sing in its bass and chalumeau and tenor and contralto and dizzyingly high soprano register, right through the introductory first movement, the cantabilISSIMO slow movement, a wild screaming scherzo and a “we calm the mighty forces, we , wrap up all ” last movement.