Home > Solo instrument > Adagio and Scherzo

Adagio and Scherzo

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
8 minutes
Classical music
Solo instrument (Solo Violoncello)
Instrumental parts
Not available

This piece for solo cello was composed for Aidan Hollick, who gave the first performance at The Royston Arts Festival in May 1983.

The dark brooding intensity of the C minor Adagio gives way to an unconventional Scherzo, set for the most part in common time, instead of the regular quick triple time.

The initial five-note motif pays tribute to Shostakovich, and recurs persistently in a variety of developed guises, gaining in intensity as the piece progresses.

There are numerous expressive interpolated reminders of the Adagio, and new scherzo motifs appear, pithy and rhythmic and always increasing the overall intensity.

Various cello techniques are used here: prominent use of open strings; pizzicato; tremolando; right-hand pizzicato; sul ponticello; and, in the last bar, a pianissimo descending motif which uses harmonics to bring the work to an unexpected conclusion.

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

cloud scorch goes here

This score was submitted by Richard Lambert. If you wish to perform, record, or broadcast this music then you should contact them first.

In order to submit this score to ScoreExchange.com Richard Lambert has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this score should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this score using the copyright abuse form.