Concerto for Orchestra

Program Notes:

Concerto for Orchestra is both an homage and a reaction to the important Concertos for Orchestra of the past.  Each movement is challenging in its virtuosity, musicality, and chamber elements.

Although several of history’s great Concertos for Orchestra begin with slow, ominous introductions, it was my desire to create a first movement that explodes with energy and excitement. The movement begins with each family of instruments functioning independently from each other. As the movement progresses they begin to interlope, culminating in a homophonic texture.

The second movement is a tribute to Bartok’s “game of pairs” found within his Concerto for Orchestra. While Bartok’s “game” focuses on pairs of the same instrument, my “game” features instrumentation from important 20th century works and ensembles. The following is an overview of the form and it’s counterparts:

Theme: Britten’s Serenade for Horn, Tenor and Strings
Variation 1: Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat
Variation 2: Brass Quintet
Variation 3: Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp
Variation 4: Percussion Ensemble
Variation 5: Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire
Variation 6: Messaien’s Quartet for the End of Time
Variation 7: Stravinsky’s 3 pieces for Solo Clarinet
Coda: Barber’s Adagio for Strings

The final movement is scherzo-like in character. It explores the juxtaposition between chamber groups and tutti orchestra. The final fugue and fanfare are reminiscent to Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

Preview Score