One leaf. Large oblong folio (482 x 737 mm; 19″ x 29″). Original visual map of work. Executed in black and various bright colored inks on ivory paper. Signed by composer at right margin.
5 leaves of autograph sketches plus an additional descriptive leaf “Notes for my meeting with Lynn Harrell @ his home in Santa Monica, CA in 2012.”
Cello Concerto #3 was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and composed expressly for cellist Lynn Harrell, who premiered the work on 14 March 2013.
“Although Thomas has said that the image of the phoenix — the mythical bird who died by fire and was reborn from its ashes — suggested itself as a title only after the music was composed, there is nevertheless some pointedly avian music in between the pyrotechnics, not just the usual chirps and twitters, but some charmingly bony, beaky dancing for the soloist with harp, wood blocks and tom-toms. And speaking of tom-toms, it is a small step from evoking fire in high percussion and brass to the fierce rhythms of big-band jazz at its hottest — a step that Thomas most gratifyingly took in this score.” David Wright, Boston Classical Review