Four Moods for Solo Cello

          This solo cello piece’s each movement reflects some of my moods, such as fury, imagination, meditation…etc. The first movement is very lyrical and poetic. A guitar slide is used in 2nd movement to create a voice-like quality. The 3rd movement is a fast rhythmic writing. It has many syncopations and sonority changes. Though it is somewhat atonal, it’s still very melodic.

          The last movement contains many uncommon cello techniques that I invented. The sound modulation idea is more or less derived from synthesizer technique. There are some very simple and very complex textures. The movement mainly focuses on the most basic music element, “sounds”. Unlike the first 2 movements, it sounds very modern but many ideas are influenced by nature and Chinese art, such as Chinese calligraphy and painting. However, when I was writing the piece, I didn’t really think about it much. Everything actually came out very naturally. This piece could be performed with different combinations of movements. Of course the 4 movements’ arch-like form works best, especially since each movement is more away from tonality, it not only creates a sense of direction but also increases tension.

          I was very lucky to work the cellist, Jan Muller-Szeraws. In my humble opinion he is one of the best cellists in Boston. Because it’s a very difficult, different, virtuoso cello piece, it took us a long time to work on many performance issues. In order to capture the sonic details of the music, I visited many studios and concert halls around Boston. In May 2009, we spent 3 nights to record it in the Chapel of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Finally the recordings came out very well!

  • I Movement: Flying [YouTube , 8’14”]
  • II Movement: Lament [MP3, 4’24”]
  • III Movement: Fury [YouTube , 3’50”]
  • IV Movement: Illusions [MP3, * excerpt, 7’42”] ; Illusions Video [YouTube , 11’34”]


First Movement “Flying” (720p video)


2nd Movement: Lament [MP3, 4’24”]

* Sorry, there is no video for the second movement. Only audio!


3rd Movement “Fury” (720p video)



4th Movement “ILLUSIONS” (1080p video)


110 Responses

  1. These are all incredible pieces of music! Is there any chance of being able to purchase the music from you? I’m really excited to possibly play this beautiful music, and so I would love it if I could download it!

    1. Hello, I think your website might be having browser coiiptmbilaty issues. When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, terrific blog!

  2. Hi, this is absolutely gorgious. I am a cellist residing currently in Rochester. Would there be any chance to have the music for this? Would love to play. Bravo

  3. This is a phenomenal set of music… I would absolutely love to practice this to challenge myself at the least. Is there any way I could get a copy of this?

    Thank you so much!

  4. The work is so unique! I would love to get the music if possible. Please contact me about the music. Thank you very much.

  5. Absolutely amazing music! I would love to play this for my recital during the end of my course – any chance that I could get my hands on the music from you?

  6. Simply wow, this is just spectacular. The amount of colour you’ve put into the composition is sublime. How would it be possible to be able get hold of the score for such a wonderful piece?
    Thank you

  7. This is just brilliant, everything you’ve achieved in this composition is spectacular. I am just in awe of this piece and your skill for composing it. As a cellist, I’d love to be able to play this someday. How would I be able to purchase the score?

  8. This sound so beautiful, so unique, so eloquent in a way. It is stunning. I am currently a high school cellist and would love to play this. Is there a any way that I can get my hand on the music?

  9. Totally mindblowing music! As a cellist I would love to have the score. Is it possible to buy or download?

    Sven Risberg

  10. Is there any way I can get my hands on the sheet music? I would love to attempt to play such a stunning and eloquent piece!

  11. Hi Chao!
    I watched and listened to the first movement and loved the techniques applied on the music piece. I really enjoyed the music you have composed. May I know the ways to access to the music scores for this amazing piece?

    Janice Jong

      1. Chao,

        I accidentally deleted the e-mail you have sent to me as it appeared in the “Trash” section. May I bother you to request for reply in another e-mail? If this bothers you I’m sorry about it, thank you for reading my reply.

        Janice Jong

  12. Hi, I am a high school cellist and I recently stumbled across this pieces of music on youtube and fell in love with it right away, is there anyway for me to get the sheet music to for this piece? I would love to play it!

  13. Hello! I’m currently looking for music to play either in competition or for concert, I suspect competition use of this piece isn’t an option because of the special techniques, but I won’t keep dragging on about technicalities. Either way I would be honored to be allowed to play this piece, I am still a student so I think my orchestra program will cover the expenses, but if not I will be more than willing to pay for the piece myself! Thank you for your time!

  14. Hello Chao,

    These pieces sound absolutely lovely! I myself am studying Music at a school in England, and found these solo cello pieces inspirational for the way I would go about composing. If it is possible, could I have the score for the 3rd movement please for further contemplation? If you can’t though that is absolutely no problem 🙂

    Thank you very much

  15. Hi! I love this music and would love to be able to have the music for this as part of a collaborative project! Would there be any way of me getting the score?

    Many Thanks


  16. Hi!

    This is just amazing music! Wunderful!
    I’m a cellist and I would be very happy to know where I can find scores!?


  17. I’m astonished an amazed of how beautiful the mind works to creat such tones. It would be a great honor to play on my own cello.

  18. My son plays the cello and told me about this piece. It is so beautiful! He would love to have the sheet music and I would pay you for it. His dream is to attend Julliard someday.

  19. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this
    blog and I’m impressed! Very useful information specifically the lastt part 🙂 I care for such info
    a lot. I was seeking this ceryain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  20. Hello,
    I am a student cellist and I found this music to be amazing! Congratulations!
    Can I ask you to provide me with the sheet music? I would love to play it!
    Thank you very much

  21. Hi there, i was wondering if i could probably get a score for the beautiful cello piece, just Movenment 1. I have a cello recital coming up in NY, and i was really looking forward to play this piece. If you can contact me or email me the part, that would be magnificent. (919)-864-5937

    1. Sent!
      * Not sure if you have received my earlier email…….cause I received the two different messages of the similar names.

  22. I really loved the entirety and the raw power that was taken into all 4 movements, however does anyone know where I can find the score for this, I am a cellist and would love to add this to the many songs that I play

  23. Wow, these are such beautiful pieces… I have a recital coming up and would be very interested in playing your piece! Is there a way for me to access/purchase the music?

    Thank you!!!!

  24. I truly love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m planning to create my own personal blog and want to know where you got this from or what the theme is called.
    Thank you!

  25. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful information specially the last
    part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for
    this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  26. Hi, I happened to stumble upon your music video and fell in love with your compositions. It’s wonderfully refreshing. Do you have any sheet music for the 4 moods available?

  27. Saturday evening, December 14th
    I am listening to your “Four Moods for Solo Cello.” I found it earlier and am revisiting it again tonight. Reviewing these many favorable comments, I see that others have requested the sheet music for these pieces. Are they still available? Thanks for letting me know. I should learn to play so well.

  28. Hi Chao-Jan,
    I just found and heard your “4 Moods for solo Cello”. I am very impressed by the different parts and moods of the pieces. Chapeau !!
    Is the sheet music still available? I would be very glad to learn your composition (it will surely take much time, but i know it is worth it ;-)).
    Thanks for your answer

  29. Hi Chao Jan, I would love to learn these pieces if you have any sheet music available! They are so diverse and beautiful, and I would love to learn them.

    Thank you for your beautiful compositions!
    I hope you continue creating such beautiful work!

  30. Hi, I saw your TY video and would love to have the sheet music for this entire composition so I can learn it!! Where can I purchase it?

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