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Andante espressivo pour violoncelle et piano (Fernand de La Tombelle)




Like most so-called instrumental “genre” pieces, this Andante espressivo is tripartite in form (in other words, it is faithful to the “A-B-A” structure). Published in 1900, it was dedicated “to Monsieur Maxime Thomas, founder of the Concerts Hebdomadaires in Tours”. A peaceful arpeggio figure is set up in both hands of the piano part. The cello plays a noble melody over the top, employing uniformly long and expressive notes. Although the resources used are simple, the effect created is one of sensual lethargy and enveloping serenity. Several modulations provide the piano with the opportunity for countermelodies, enclosed within the accompanying figure. This figure is briefly repeated on its own by way of a transition and leads into the central section, which introduces a more dynamic dialogue between the instruments, with short ascending figures passing from one to the other. One of these figures ushers in scales and arpeggios in the right hand of the piano. The exchange of motifs continues, before decomposed chords announce the return of the first section, which is subtly different from its initial statement. This is because certain motifs from the central section appear distilled in the pianist’s right hand, as if the flow of the discourse had a memory. Underpinned by suspended harmonies in the conclusion, a scale fragment is played on the cello over the piano’s accompanying arpeggios.

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  • Page de titre : Andante expressivo pour violoncelle et piano (La Tombelle)
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  • LA TOMBELLE, Fernand de (1854-1928)
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  • Instruments à cordes – L’École française de violoncelle