This section explains the basic repertoire of Johnstone as cello soloist - the four chief areas are:
- Soloist with Orchestra
- Concerts of Violoncello and Piano
- Recitals of Solo Violoncello (without accompaniment)
- Soloist in other groupings
Invited Soloist with Orchestra
Johnstone’s repertoire includes the important concertos from the classical and romantic periods, and an interesting selection from the twentieth century.
The works that Johnstone has performed (prepared) include the two principal concertos of Haydn (C Major and D Major), CPE Bach – Concerto in A, Boccherini/Grutzmacher – Concerto in Bb, Volkmann – Concerto, Schumann – Concerto, Saint-Saens – A Minor Concerto, Boellmann – Variations Symphoniques, Lalo – Concerto, Tchaikovsky – Rococo Variations and Pezzo Capriccioso, Bruch – Kol Nidrei, Popper – Concerto No.2 in E Minor, Dvorak – Concerto in B minor, Strauss – Don Quixote, Enescu – Sinfonia Concertante, Elgar – Concerto, Respighi – Adagio con Variazione, Honegger – Concerto, Shostakovich – Concerto No.1, Prokofiev – Sinfonia Concertante, Khachaturian – Rhapsody Concerto, Lloyd Webber – Variationes etc. (see more underneath)
It should also be made known that there is the possibility of Johnstone performing the cello solo part in: Vivaldi – Double Cello Concerto, Haydn – Sinfonia Concertante (Violin, Oboe, Cello, and Bassoon), Beethoven – Triple Concerto, and the Brahms Double Concerto.
He has gained maximum experience as invited soloist with the Symphony Orchestra of Navarra in works of Haydn (C Major), Boccherini (B flat Major), Schumann, Tchaikovsky (Rococo Variations), Sarasate (Zigeunerweisen) y Shostakovich (Cello Concerto No.1). In Great Britain he has given a number of performances of the concertos of Elgar and Dvorak, and also of British composers such as Finzi - Concerto and Rubbra - Soliloquy. In Spain he has been entrusted with the premieres of large-scale concertos works by the Navarre composer Koldo Pastor (Cello Concerto, 2016-17 - 35 mins duration) and of the Basque composer Joseba Torre (Kantuz, 2014 - 15 mins). He might even perform his very own concerto which in textures and style is much lighter: the ‘Pop-Classic’ Concerto for cello and string orchestra (25’).
“David Johnstone is a master of the cello: his sound is large in volume and with enveloping atmosphere, and at the same time transmits all the emotions which each bar suggests.” (Shostakovich – Concierto No.1) Diario de Noticias (Navarra)
Recitals with Piano
The sonatas of Beethoven, the big romantic sonatas, and important works from the twentieth century. Short melodic and virtuoso pieces. He has performed with the pianists Jesús Amigo, Tatiana Kriukova, Juan José Albinyana and Francesca Croccolino in Spain; and with Paul Turner, Mark Latimer, Juan José albinyana amongst others, in Great Britain. In Spain he has given recitals in the Foundation Juan March, Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos of Salamanca and the Foundation Marcelino Botín of Santander; in Great Britain he has performed a number of times in the ‘Purcell Room’ of the London ‘Southbank’, and in important halls of provincial cities such as the ‘Holywell Room’ (Oxford), St. George’s Hall (Luton) or the ‘Hexagon’ (Reading).
The composers in his repertoire include:
Baroque and Classical: Vivaldi, Vandini, Francouer, Corrette, Tessarini, De Fesch, Beethoven (obra integral), Breval, Eccles, Couperin, Marcello, Valentini, Sammartini ...
Twenty-first Century: Rolin, FeBland, Koldo Pastor, Gorka Pastor
Concerts of Solo Violoncello (unaccompanied)
A specialty of Johnstone, having given dozens of performances of this kind over the past twenty years. Below one can find some suggestions of very original programmes, with quality repertoire that is generally not too well-known yet.
- ‘Gateways to the 20th and 21st centuries’ The virtuoso solo sonata of Kodaly and three important Navarre composers of the 21st century: Yolanda Campos, Jesús Echeverría and Ignacio Fernández “Johnstone gave a technical show during the entire concert, and served up a spectacular version of the Kodaly Solo Sonata (Op.8). Johnstone played it from memory, with total involvement … as an instrumentalist he shows facility, capacity, and hard work … warm applause in all the works and a ferverous ovation at the end …”Diaro de Navarra
- ‘The Legacy of J.S. Bach’ Bloch, Johnstone, Pastor Bueno, C. Rodrigo, FeBland, J. Echeverría etc.
- ‘Modern British music’ McCabe, Gipps, FeBland, Johnstone etc. “Two of the outstanding performances of the evening from both an emotional and technical point of view came from David Johnstone on the cello.” (contemporary music in the ‘Purcell Room’, London) Edgware and Mill Hill Times (London)
- ‘Spanish Music from the 21st century’ Principal invited composers: Yolanda Campos, Francisco Pastor Bueno, Jesús Echeverría, Ignacio Fernandez, Enrique Aragón Sancho and Carlos Blanco (1 or 2 concerts - possibility of giving premieres)
- “Popular New Frontiers” The Violoncello is an instrument which, until fairly recently, has been used almost exclusively in ‘classical’ music. This programme shows a different cello - a cello in new worlds. Music influenced by pop, jazz, folk, and other influences … all without accompaniment and without amplification. Aaron Minsky holds a special place for Johnstone.
The Cello in other groupings as Soloist
Johnstone is enthusiastically open to other suggestions such as the ‘Variations’ of Andrew Lloyd Webber with rock group, or the ‘Suite’ of Claude Bolling with jazz piano trio. He also can perform the distinguished ‘Jazz Sonata’ of Mikel Gaztelurrutia, and popular duos in the formation ‘Violoncello Vibrations’ with the pianist/keyboards player Alberto Navascues.