The music on this album represents a wide range of solo cello pieces which share a common element of freedom—a kind of quasi improvisation. From folk music to contemporary jazz classical/crossovers, there is something here for everyone.
Off the Cuff features cellist Ruth Boden, an active, avid performer of contemporary music and pioneer in innovative performance. The concept for this album was inspired by the music of Zoltán Kodály, whose cello sonata features not only demanding technical passages, but also the challenge to allow the music to be free in a nature consistent with the folk music that Kodály so loved. The title Off the Cuff denotes Boden’s aspirations to bring freshness and freedom to the music, performances which go beyond notes and instead represent expressive, personal responses to the compositions.
The music on this album represents a wide range of solo cello pieces which share a common element of performer freedom—a kind of quasi improvisation. From the haunting openness of John Corigliano’s Fancy on a Bach Air, where rhythmic notation and phrase construction is expansive and open, to the aleatoric writing of Ryan Hare in Quasi Improvvisando, written for and dedicated to Boden, in which musical phrases end with music to be chosen by the performer, each piece offers great freedom of interpretation. From folk music to contemporary jazz/classical crossovers, Off the Cuff includes something for everyone.