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Published on May 23, 2011
Up-close for solo cello, string ensemble and film 2010
In Michel van der Aa's cello concerto 'Up-close', the traditional interaction of soloist and ensemble is reflected by a mysterious, mirror reality seen on film. When the piece begins, a solo cellist and string ensemble sit on the right of the stage; on the left stands a large video screen. On the screen we see an elderly lady sitting among an arrangement of chairs and music stands that parallels the real-life version on the other side of the stage. It soon becomes clear that this is only one of a variety of interactions across a hall of mirrors created by the soloist, ensemble and film.
'Up-close', commissioned by the European Concert Hall Organization and featuring the Argentinean cellist Sol Gabetta and Amsterdam Sinfonietta, is thus a cello concerto duplicated and magnified until it reaches the boundary of video opera.