15 May 1999
Alison Bean: Quodlibet for solo cello and string quartet
‘Quodlibet’ means ‘what you please’, and the title referred to the idea that the music should speak for itself. There are no hidden meanings or references to philosophical ideas encoded in the music, merely a response to ideas in sound that the composer enjoys. It is left to the listeners to make whatever they choose from what they hear! On another level the title refers to the players’ interpretation, to which a composer is always subject! This piece was written for the composer’s husband, John Bean, who is performing the solo part tonight. It was thus possible to collaborate fairly closely while work was in progress. Rather than be dogmatic about notes on performance, there has to be room for some creative response from the players. So without denying the fundamental role of the composer, all markings in the score such as dynamics, speeds and phrasing are made as suggestions, rather than absolutes. In this way, the composer hopes to re-invent the piece at each performance. The composer hopes you will enjoy the piece, but fundamentally make of it ‘what you please’.