Ethan Winer is a remarkable cellist, guitarist, composer, author, software coder and audio/visual-studio technician from New Milford, Connecticut, USA. I won't say too much about Mr. Winer in this review, because he has his own website, and you can go there and learn all about him. Go to http://www.ethanwiner.com, and follow all the intersting links.
Mr. Winer was kind enough to send me a cd of his Cello Concerto in A Minor, performed by cellist Steven Thomas. The Concerto is approximately 17 minutes long, and written in what might be called a "romantic" genre, though parts of it sound "classical," too. The concerto is in one movement, although that movement alternates between Allegro and Adagio sections, and gives a three movement feel. The entire concerto is available free on Mr. Winer's website in mp3 format, and also as sheet music which you may print from your own printer. It is also possible to purchase the music with a full orchestra score from the website, using a charge card.
I found the Winer Concerto to be an enjoyable and interesting piece of music. Bits and pieces here and there evoke memories of music by Tchaikovsky and Ravel. I was distinctly reminded of both the "Nutcracker" and the "Bolero." The solo cellist on the recording is Steven Thomas, who plays with verve and good intonation.
The technical difficulty of the Concerto is what I would judge to be "Advanced-Intermediate." It is not as difficult as, for example, either the Boccherini or Dvorak concertos. However, it is certainly more rewarding and fun for the listener than many of the unpleasant, atonal concertos now being performed by touring concert cellists. If some famous cellist would take it up as an encore, it could eventually become an accepted part of cellistic repertoire. It is certainly suitable for conservatory student performances, and occasional performances by professionals. A play-along version of the concerto is available on CD from Music Minus One, to which there is a link on Mr. Winer's webpage.
Reviewed by "drcello," September 8, 2001