The Certainty of Tides
solo cello and ensemble of 12 strings
“A solo cello – Natalie Clein, with powerful, eloquent and full-blooded tone – is offset by a string orchestra that interacts with the solo line in discussions plangent with expression and spangled with pizzicato; much of the piece is wrought around soaring cello lines that, suitably enough, rise.”
The Arts Desk
Instrumentation solo cello 188.8.131.52.1
First Performance 14 December 2019, Kings Place, London; Natalie Clein (cello), Aurora Orchestra, Duncan Ward (conductor)
Commissioned by the First 100 Years
With clarity, the cello sings powerfully through the piece, her persistent voice a singular source of energy for the ensemble. In constant motion and usually ascending, the piece sparkles and radiates. In one movement the solo voice, like a pathfinder, leads the ensemble through four inter-connected sections. In blazing a trail, she is at times alone but never lonely.
The title is taken from Maya Angelou’s empowering poem, Still I Rise, in which the strength and constancy of woman is likened to the certainty of tides:
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Gallery of Slovenia in Ljubljana, the composer took the sculpture by Drago Trsar entitled, Amidst the Powerful and the Powerless, as her inspiration for the piece. In connection with this, the ground-breaking history project “The First 100 Years” celebrates pioneers in the legal profession over this period, since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, which paved the way for women to become lawyers for the first time. The sculpture is a visual representation of the principal themes inherent in the 100 years project and the music, in turn, embodies both.