I - Lento
II - Imposante
III - Andante
In my early television remembrance I recall a broadcast with Samuel Beckett, one of the fathers of the absurd play and drama. At one time Beckett looked the viewer (the camera) in the eye and said:"What! - is the Word". I have not since been able to forget it, obviously, having borrowed this ambiguous sentence as title for this short cello sonata.
The fact that it is conceived as a unity is obvious from the fact that the two outer movements are closely related. The long, immediately recognizable melodic line which dominates the first movement appears in the third movement as well, first in an inverted version and then almost identical to its original appearance, only shorter.
In contrast, the middle movement is a fast one, constantly and intensely on the move, with many changes of pulse and meters, as well as large melodic leaps. And while the outer movements each are composed as a single melodic line, the middle movement makes extensive use of the cello as a polyphonic instrument employing lots of chords, double stops and flageolet effects.
Per Nørgård (2010)