Rohan de SaramSt Christopher

Rohan de Saram
Event 6
Sunday October 11th, 3.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Virtuoso solo cello recital
Johann Sebastian Bach
Prelude from Suite no 3
Richard Drakeford
Cello Suite no 2
David Matthews
Songs and dances of mourning, op12
Benjamin Britten
Cello Suite no 1, op72
John Tavener
Thrinos (1990)
Zoltán Kodály
Sonata for solo cello, op8 (last movement)

This is an archived event from the 2009 Programme.

Rohan de Saram  cello

Rohan de Saram featured in the very first Missenden Festival concert 50 years ago, when he played Richard Drakeford's 2nd cello suite – to be repeated in this event. Richard was the Festival’s key musical mentor and director through most of its 50 years.

Bach's extraordinary cello suites were the first compositions to exploit the expressive power and capabilities of the instrument. Rohan will open his recital with the bold and sonorous Prelude from the third suite.

Rohan will play the first of three cello suites that Britten wrote for his friend Rostropovich. These build on Bach’s legacy - Britten too exploits the rich, dark sonorities of the cello, and creates a convincing illusion of multi-part writing. Rostropovich’s romantic playing inspired him to write highly expressive music with beautiful melodies.

Tavener's Thrinos is a slow and simple cello lament on the death of a friend, a series of brief but luminous variations on a beautiful theme.

Kodály's huge sonata was the first major piece since Bach to push forward the capabilities of the solo cello. Rohan worked with the composer, who agreed he could programme the last movement separately. This brilliant dance-like piece, exciting and virtuosic, sprang from Kodály’s love of Hungarian folk music.

Rohan de Saram, a masterly cellist, was a long-term member of the legendary Arditti Quartet until he left in 2005 to pursue his own artistic vision. Critics have used phrases like "dazzling technical wizardry".

His talent was obvious from the outset. Casals said, "There are few of his generation that have such gifts", and Mitropoulos described him as, "A rare genius… a born musician… an amazing young cellist".

Rohan is an outstanding performer of contemporary music, but equally at home with the classical repertoire. He has worked with composers like Kodaly, Shostakovich, Poulenc and Walton. Xenakis and Berio have written works for him.

"de Saram is a cello phenomenon, one of the greatest cellists of our time" (Kölnische Rundschau)

"(Rohan de Saram’s) performance was a real spiritual experience. His profound insight into the music, sovereign mastery of the instrument and huge concentration gave listeners a night they will never forget" (Jaroslav Stastny)

Please click for Rohan de Saram's website

Concert sponsored by the Festival Friends