Cello Sonata No. 1: “Paradise Found” was composed as an affirmation of life at a time when it seemed like so much in the world was going wrong. In composing this piece, I wanted to remind myself, and future listeners, that the world is still beautiful. Each of the four movements explore a different aspect of this beauty.
In the first movement, an ecstatic melody in the cello soars passionately above a swirling texture of piano sound. This is full-on love music: the heart bursting with the excitement of love, the ecstasy of love, the ultimate triumph of love.
The second movement is in ABA form. It begins simply, with an innocence reminiscent of folk music. The B section swells into more passionate expression, with long melodic lines characteristic of the romantic style. After this darker interlude, the folk-like music of the A section returns, and the movement ends optimistically.
The third movement is a set of reflections on the mysterious nature of the world and the individual’s relation to it. The piece alternates between more “objective” music (the world) and more personal music (the self). To me this is the most personal and intimate of the sonata’s four movements. In sections of it, the music aspires towards an expression of the sonata’s title, “Paradise Found”.
The final movement, in rondo form, is a joyous dance, earthy, celebratory, and rustic in character.
– Bruce Wolosoff
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