and dark time flowed by her like a river [cello version]

Gary Kulesha
Gary Kulesha
Composition Date: 1993
Duration: 00:11:00
Genre: Strings (bowed), + Keyboard, Cello


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Violoncello
Programme Note:
..and dark time flowed by her like a river...
for Violin or Viola or Cello and Piano

The title of this work is taken from novel by Thomas Wolfe called "The Web and the Rock," written in 1939. Wolfe's novel is a thinly disguised autobiographical account of his early adulthood. This particular line is from a passage in which he describes his central character's sudden deep recognition of the loss of each precious moment of time, an experience which happens to each of us at some point in our development. The work has no real programme, and the title is suggestive more of a mood than of a story. Certainly, the music is intended to be expressive and somewhat dark, reflecting the alternation of passion and philosophical despair that most sentient young people must pass through.

The piece is constructed in four sections, which flow into each other without interruption. The first section begins with a rhapsodic non-tonal statement of the basic idea. This is immediately followed by the same idea "straightened out" into simple G minor, but with a pointillistic atonal accompaniment. The language of the work flows between these two polarities, the clearly tonal centres tending to reflect a more philosophical point of view, and the atonal passages underlining the despair and passion of the work.

A series of pizzicato chords lead to the second section, a violent, arpeggio-based scherzo. The tortured quarter-tones of this section lead to the glissandi which introduce the third section, a cadenza for the solo instrument. The main idea returns harmonized in simple triads, settling deceptively onto a G major cadence before erupting into the agitated and very rhythmic finale.

Although my primary instrument is the piano, viola was my second instrument, and I have always thought of the solo string instruments as being my own "voice" among all the instruments. This has led me to write my most personal music for string and piano combinations.

- Gary Kulesha


  • Call Number:
  • MI 3213 K96an
  • Genre:
  • Strings (bowed), + Keyboard, Cello
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • May 30, 1994
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score ([35] p.) + 1 violoncello part (15 p.) ;
    35 Pages
    Height: 32 cm
    Width: 24 cm
    Parts page count: 15
  • Additional Information:
  • For violoncello and piano.
    Also exists in versions for violin and viola.
    Commissioned by the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition through The Canada DCouncil.
    Duration: 11:00
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Available For:

  • Reference

  • Printed copies of this title are available from Counterpoint Music Library Services. Please contact the publisher directly.
    Published by Counterpoint Music Library Services
Available Products for this piece:

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Music of a Life so FarMusic of a Life so FarCD $20.98