Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) was a prolific Czech composer, writing many large scale works. The composer moved to Paris in 1923 where he began experimenting in a variety of composition styles. Pastorales for Cello and Piano was published in 1931 and is made up of six pieces.
Martinu himself was a violinist and the beginning of his experiments in composing for solo instruments saw him write for strings. Pastorales for Cello exemplifies the composer's influence of Stravinsky, Debussy neoclassicism, surrealism and jazz. The piece is excitingly virtuosic in its use of double stops, complex rhythms, chromaticism, and ensemble between the Cello and Piano. As a varied, substantial work for the Cello repertoire, Martinu's Pastorales is essential for the advanced performer.