Op 21 Sonata for solo Violoncello

‘for Christopher Bunting’    (11 mins)

img021Andante sostenuto – Allegro
Andante espressivo

Scherzo – Trio

The cellist Christopher Bunting sought in both his teaching and his playing to capture something of the aesthetic vision, and the technical virtuosity, which he had inherited from his teacher, the great Spanish cellist Pablo Casals. As well as   a very wide expressive and tonal range, the cello has the potential for contrasting characteristics of performance; great power with great gentleness, in the high, middle and low melodic registers; a cantabile quality at all dynamic levels, and at all tempi; contrasted methods of articulation and rhythmic definition, with both natural notes and harmonics. Music making at such a level of perfectionism acted on composer and performer alike as a constant  creative spur to fresh discoveries of cello style. As for the audience, hearing a Bunting concert was like attending a Casals master class, at which equal attention was given both to the nature of the music itself, and to the technical means of bringing the sound into being. Indeed it was only after much experimentation and discussion that the four movements of this solo sonata  were agreed, and a rapport was born , which was to lead to further collaborations (2 sonatas, 2 concertos), over a period of 30 years, until Bunting’s death in 2005.


First performance 10 October 1971  London   (BBC Radio3) by Christopher Bunting


Study score   ISMN M 708045 39 7

I    Andante sostenuto – Allegro 2’ 10”
II   Andante espressivo 3’12”
IV Vivace energico e con brio 2’ 22”

Christopher Bunting (cello)


We regret to advise that Francis Routh died peacefully on 27th November 2021
This is default text for notification bar