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The Cello Concerto: An Overview and Timeline by Patrick C Waller (Last updated: May 2021)
These pages currently include a total of 1123 composers of 1616 cello concertos, 47% of which have been commercially recorded. Aims
The aims of the project, which was originally undertaken in the second half of 2020, are as follows:
1. To assist readers interested in the genre of the cello concerto in exploring the recorded repertoire and, for unrecorded works, in hearing those works for which non-commercial recordings exist on the internet.
2. Using information freely available on the internet, to identify as many cello concertos as possible and to establish whether or not each concerto has, to date, been commercially recorded.
3. To provide basic information about all the composers and the concertos identified in the form of a brief single entry for each composer with hyperlinks to sources of further information, giving preference to reviews of recordings on MusicWeb International.
4. To create timelines of all identified cello concertos, dividing them into those that have been recorded and those that are unrecorded to date.
Appendix: Other works for cello and orchestra
A further 84 composers who did not write a cello concerto but wrote significant other works for cello and orchestra, all of which can be heard, are included here.
Update of March 2021:
When originally published in December 2020, the project contained 768 composers of cello concertos. Since then over 350 have been added, largely thanks to help received from Renate Dehmer from Germany who searched publisher websites and directed me to other useful sources. Renate has also thoroughly reviewed all the composer entries and timelines enabling many small (and a few major) corrections to be made. We are aware that there are other composers of cello concertos, mainly from South America, still not covered. We are planning a further update in the summer of 2021 to include these composers and also to expand the Appendix. Meanwhile work on the outstanding timelines will continue.
Update of May 2021:
The timelines have now been completed and show that, after the latter part of the 18th century, fewer cello concertos were being written (or have survived) during the 19th century and early twentieth century than previously. Also, of those that have survived from the latter period, they appear less likely to have been recorded than those written earlier or later. In four timelines - composers born before 1780 and the last three decades of the twentieth century - more than 50% of concertos identified to date have been recorded. The last timeline shows that the cello concerto is clearly still thriving in the 21st century. The planned further update mentioned above will likely reduce the proportion of recorded works since the vast majority of recorded concertos are already in the project.