COLDPLAY – Concert Piece based on ‘Viva La Vida’ – for FIVE CELLOS or larger cello ensembleCELLOS or larger cello ensemble


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COLDPLAY – Viva La Vida – this music has been specially produced for FIVE cellos. Also with the possibility of being rehearsed/performed by Cello Orchestra. Arranged by HelloCello! Pamplona – Eva Niño

Download Contents or Instructions:

PDF 1 – All individual cello parts – no General Score

The tempo indication is – Lively

General difficulty of the music – other brief Information:

MEDIUM (see notes underneath)

Any known possible links of this music (audio, video, article etc.):
Performed by HelloCello! Grand Cello Orchestra, of 70 cellists, in Christmas 2022 in two concerts in Pamplona, Spain.

P.S. If you ever record this music (preferably onto YouTube) we would be delighted to add YOUR link here and in the Audio-Video section of the Web …

Enjoy the music !!


EXAMPLES from Cellos 1, 3 and 5:





Viva La Vida is an authentic anthem that despite having been written in 2008 is still going strong many years later. Have you ever wondered why a British band decided to name their second album in Spanish? Well, it turns out that the name Viva La Vida is inspired by the world of art.

The theme is inspired by a painting by Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter who is considered by many to be ahead of her time, a visionary and a rebel. She revolutionized culture through painting, her foray into politics and through her sexual freedom. The inspired painting is called ‘Still Life: Live Life’ and it is the still life of watermelons with the typical colours used by the artist. It is considered the last portrait that she painted before she died, and with it she wanted to convey the good things in life such as the taste of fruit, since fruit is associated with the joy of summer. It is a cry to life and the desire to live. In her own work, the phrase “VIVA LA VIDA” appears written on a watermelon.

This does not end here, because the song is also inspired by the life of a French monarch, Louis XVI. He was the last king before the fall of the monarchy with the French Revolution, as well as the last to exercise his powers as an absolute monarch. The song ‘Viva La Vida’ is therefore an ode to art, so apart from being inspired by Frida for the title, it is inspired by the life of Louis XVI (who had to live through the French Revolution in his own flesh).

If we pay attention to the lyrics, we realize that they are the king’s last thoughts just before he was executed:

“I used to rule the world” (Yo solía dominar el mundo)

“Seas would rise when I gave the world“ (Los mares se alzaban cuando yo lo ordenaba)

And at a certain point in the song, the monarch anticipates what will be his final, since he ended up guillotined by the revolutionaries:

“Revolutionaries wait  for my head on a silver plate” (Los revolucionarios esperan por mi cabeza en una bandeja de plata)

I (David Johnstone) had made an arrangement of this music many years ago, for six Cellos or Cello Orchestra; admittedly, in hindsight, it was not one of my best newly devised ‘creations’. When my wonderful Spanish cellist colleague Eva Niño came up with a new arrangement, in five main cello voices, I knew that this is the arrangement that I “should” have done – so MANY, MANY THANKS Eva!!



Welcome to Johnstone-Music! A big Anglo-Spanish web for MUSICIANS and especially CELLISTS – original music scores for orchestral instruments and keyboard. Plus articles, audios, videos, resources, catalogues, news etc. Official web of the professional cellist David Johnstone, principal cello Navarre Symphony Orchestra (Spain), chamber musician and soloist in many premieres. Hundreds of cello arrangements in the web for a symbolic charge per download or for free.

The following have taken his work onboard, sometimes with special collaborations as composer-arranger-performer: the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi, Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Orchestre Nouvelle Generation de Montreal, the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon), Orchestra da Camera del Locarnese (Suiza), The Zagreb Soloists, the Saint Petersburg Musical Theatre “Zazerkalye” Chamber Orchestra, the Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum (Poland), Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra (New Zealand), Camerata Cambrensis (Basque country), Ensemble Metamorphosis of Belgrade (Serbia), with Ara Malikian (Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra – Madrid), and a long etc.. Currently, many courses, conservatoires and music schools, university String departments etc. use his repertoire; there are dozens of his arrangements on ‘You Tube’ …

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