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)


28 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!

  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. 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

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