Karlheinz Essl


on common ground

for cello and piano

Dedicated to Emanuele Torquati and Francesco Dillon

Basics | Video| Score | Performances


Throughout the entire piece, a "drone" based on C is held in the middle pedal of the piano. This pitch and its spectral components create a shimmering background that represents the "common ground" which forms the basis of the harmonic structure of the piece.

This short composition lives from the interaction between cello and piano – a kind of discourse which encompasses a broad variety of expressions and reactions. Besides the obvious dialogic aspect, both players with their individual instruments are part of an uncommon "hyper-instrument" which they shape and modify together.


World premiere of on common ground, performed by Francesco Dillon and Emanuele Torquati
Istituto Italiano di Cultura Vienna, 29 June 2021
Filmed by Simon Essl


Here are some pages from the score of on common ground.
The full score can be downloaded for free. Please note that the music is protected by copyright.

on common ground - score: p.1
on common ground - score: p.3
on common ground - score: p.6

© 2020 by Karlheinz Essl

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Updated: 1 Jul 2021