Concerto for guitar and chamber orchestra (guitar with chamber orchestra)
by Philip Bracanin (1991)
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Completed in March 1991, to a commission from the Brisbane guitarists Isolde and Karin Schaupp, this concerto presents three movements in unashamedly neo-Classic style, following the traditional fast-slow-fast pattern of movements. The interplay between soloist and orchestra is stark from the start, recalling the ritornello mood of Baroque or early Classic concertos. Its first movement exploits the guitar's espressivo capacities in extensive solo breaks or accompanied passages employing crisp, light figurations on the strings.
That expressive quality is also found in the doloroso second movement, where the main theme enters against a glassy, static, quiet backdrop on strings and dove-tailed short, repeated motives on the woodwind. Only rarely, as for a few bars in the middle of this movement, does Bracanin allow the guitar to relinquish the limelight through providing choral accompaniment to a melody on bassoon and violas.
The third movement is more consistently vivacious than the earlier two, with the interplay between soloist and orchestra culminating in very rapid alternations between the solo guitar and members of the brass section. The music forges on through short cadenzas and several attempted climaxes, before simply running itself out in a duo for solo guitar and bongos.
Instrumentation: Solo guitar, 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo and alto flute), 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B flat, timpani, percussion, strings.
Duration: 23 min.
Contents note: In 3 movements.
- In the form/style of: Concertos
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