Concerto for Chamber Orchestra : chamber orchestra
by John Bostock (1999)
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This work reflects influences from the music of Messiaen to Miles Davis's Bitches' Brew. An end of the century piece that looks back to 'The Past', reflecting the diverse modernist streams that welled up during the twentieth century.
This piece is a set of variations, presented in an episodic manner, building progressively from one sound to a finale covering the full range of the orchestra. For most of the work each instrument represents an authentic individual improvising voice as it would in a jazz ensemble - a 'Concerto' for the whole chamber orchestra. At times the trumpet, or the piano, becomes the soloist while instruments as diverse as vibraphone, percussion, bass clarinet, flute and contra-bass surround it with an 'improvisatory' commentary.
These ideas are presented in the context of a thematic melodic line, which is then given a number of harmonic treatments. The dialectic between the polyphonic and homophonic elements first occurs in alternating episodes, but in the Finale both streams are exposed simultaneously and revealed to be differing representations of the same musical idea.
Instrumentation: Piccolo/flute, oboe/cor anglais, clarinet in B flat/bass clarinet in B flat, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in B flat, tenor trombone, vibraphone, percussion (1 player), piano, strings.
Duration: 14 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.
Commission note: Commissioned by Musica Nova Ensemble.. Commissioned by Musica Nova, Israel
Performances of this work
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