Concertos & Solo Repertoire
Most of the scores in the tables below were programmed at the RNCM, or are scores which I have heard since 2001 and which I recommend colleagues to programme
WO = Wind Orchestra with full wind, brass and percussion and saxophones
WE = Orchestral wind
JE = Jazz Ensemble
Click on the tabs below to see works for a specific instrument
|Juriaan Andriessen||Concertino||Bassoon wind 8tet||Donemus||Netherlands|
|Dana Wilson||The Avatar||Bassoon and WE||Composer||USA|
|Michael Ball||Pageant||soloists/choir WE||Novello||UK|
|Daniel Basford||Night Journey||Chorus, baritone WO||Maecenas||UK|
|Anton Bruckner||Mass in E Minor||double chorus WE||Barenreiter||Austria|
|Corigliano||Mr Tambou-rine Man||Soprano||Schirmer||USA|
|Bernard Gilmore||5 Folk Songs||Soprano WO||Maecenas||USA|
|Edward Gregson||Missa Brevis Pacem||SSA, soloists WO||Novello||UK|
|Arthur Honneger||King David||choir, soloists WE||UMP||Switzerland|
|Zhou Long||Future of Fire, The||Chorus & Ensemble||OUP||USA/China|
|James Mobberley||Word of Love, The||Soprano||Composer||USA|
|Marco Putz||Four Earth Songs||Soprano||De Haske||Luxembourg|
|Igor Stravinsky||Mass||Choir & Ensemble||Boosey||Russia|
|Igor Stravinsky||Symphony of Psalms||Choir WO||Boosey||Russia|
|Arnold/Woolfenden||The Pre-Goodman Rag||Cl & WO||Faber||UK|
|Baldvinsson, Tryggvi||Clarinet Concerto||Clarinet & WO||Gobelin||Iceland|
|Bernstein, Leonard||Prelude, Fugue & Riffs||Clarinet JE||Schirmer||USA|
|Brossé, Dirk||War Concerto||Cl & WO||Gobelin||Belgium|
|Brossé, Dirk||Nearly Beloved||Cl & WO||Gobelin||Belgium|
|Double Concerto||Oboe/Clarinet WE||Gary Carpenter||Camden||UK|
|Clarke, Nigel||Battles and Chants||Cl & WO||Studio||UK|
|Daugherty, Michael||Brooklyn Bridge||Cl & WO||Faber||USA|
|Deak, Csaba||Clarinet Concerto||Clarinet WO||STIM||HungarySweden|
|Dodgson, Stephen||Capriccio Concertante||Clarinet WO||Wick||UK|
|Ellerby, Martin||Clarinet Concerto||Clarinet & WO||Studio||UK|
|Finnissey, Michael||Giant Abstract Samba||Cl & WE||USA|
|Fry, James||Concerto||CL & WE||OSU||USA|
|Grange, Philip||Sheng Sheng Bu Shi||Cl/WE||Maecenas||UK|
|McAllister, Scott||Black Dog||Cl & WE||ms||USA|
|McLeod, John||A dramatic Landscape||Clarinet WO||Griffin||UK|
|McNeff, Stephen||Concerto for Clarinet||Cl & WO||Maecenas||UK|
|Mozart/Rumbelow||Concerto||Cl & WE||Warner||Austria|
|Ponchielli||Il Covegno||2 Clarinets WE||ms||Italy|
|Pütz, Marco||Concerto for Clarinet||Cl & WO||Bronsheim||Luxembourg|
|Sparke, Philip||Concerto||Cl & WO||Anglo||UK|
|Shaw, Artie||Concerto||Cl & band||Ansco||USA|
|Stravinsky, Igor||Ebony Concerto||Cl and WE||USA|
|Turnbull, Kit||African Dances||Cl & WO||Studio||UK|
|Wittrock, Carl||Symphonic Sketches||Cl, BC l & WO||Gobelin||Netherlands|
|Woolfenden, Guy||Rondo Variations||Cl & WO||Ariel||UK|
Selected Concertos For Clarinet & Wind Band/Ensemble
Tim Reynish 18 January 2006
In July 2005 I gave a paper in Singapore for WASBE on significant works for wind orchestra or ensemble of the past two years, and I commented that Clarinet Concertos were like London busses, you wait for hours and then three come along at the same time. However, when I spent a little time in my CD library researching the repertoire, I found that I had over a score of substantial works for clarinet solo already in place. There are of course many more, and anyone wishing to follow this further should contact David McClune of Union University, Tennessee who wrote a dissertation on American Clarinet concerti. Two players are very actively commissioning, Linda Merrick of Royal Northern College, Manchester UK and the Belgian virtuoso Eddy Vanoosthuyse.
Clarinet Concerti By Wasbe Composer Members
Baldvinsson's Concerto was written for Icelandic clarinetist Sveinhildur Torfadottir for her final examination, and was premiered in January 2003 by the Royal College of Music, Gent, conducted by the composer. The work won the Icelandic Music prize for the best new composition in 2003. It is in three movements; the first is an impressively brooding impassioned, based on the treatment of a very small motifs, mainly of alternating major/minor thirds. The second movement is very evocative, centred around perfect and augmented fourths, with little cadenza like figures, accompanied by percussion, a wonderfully lyrical slow movement. The third movement is more extrovert, beginning with a folk like section, with shifting metrical changes, eventually landing on the motif of thirds which becomes an accompaniment to a lyrical section, in turn developing to an energetic jazz-inflected theme, a blues version and a joyful coda.
At Singapore I was very happy to introduce several works by Marco Pütz, a composer for whom I have had a high regard for many years. He writes in a traditional language, approachable by both audiences and players, but rarely lapses into the clichéd writing of so many of his colleagues. His clarinet concerto was commissioned by Don DeRoche to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary... what a great idea. It was premiered by Don's wife Julie with Don conducting. After a very brief brass introduction, two main thematic ideas emerge, both typical of Marco's style, the first quirky, flitting through various tonal centres, the second more lyrical, with changes of metre and nice solos for the principal wind. As a distinguished saxophone player himself, Marco knows how important it is to distribute material. There is a deeply felt slow movement based on the motif D Es C H which is basically an accompanied cadenza which runs into an exciting finale.
I remember hearing Csaba Deak's Clarinet Concerto some time ago at a symposium in Stockholm, and I was immediately struck by the drama and lyricism of the work. It is in three movements, a little over eighteen minutes in length, eighteen minutes of tightly controlled and organised musical material, with strong contrasts of emotion. This is a work which places Deak firmly in the tradition of his Hungarian contemporaries, Ligeti and Kurtag, and it appears on a disc which includes his moving Memento Mare and the impressive Symphony for Wind Orchestra. Here is a major figure whose music should be featured at WASBE Conferences.
Martin Ellerby's Clarinet Concerto was premiered by Linda Merrick with the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra conducted by Keiron Anderson on 3rd December 2000. It was played at the WASBE Conference of 2001 in Luzern. Martin writes that he aimed to write a work "that would prove attractive to soloists, bands and audiences". The opening Carousel looks towards American minimalism for its inspiration, and there is more than a hint of one of the composer's mentors and major influences, Joseph Horovitz. The second movement Cameo begins with a fine lyrical line for the soloist, with a short contrasting more dramatic middle section of little cadenzas before a return to the optimistic lyricism of the opening, while the finale, entitled Charabanc, is a free rondo with influences from jazz and other light music.
For full details of Philip Sparke's Clarinet Concerto, please visit his website by pointing your mouse at his name above. The composer is as long-time friend of clarinettist Linda Merrick, whose PhD thesis is on the development and genesis of concertos for clarinet and concert band. The original concept was for a series of short movements, each with its own character, but the work evolved into a three movement piece. The opening movement contains much syncopation and is almost rag-like in style. The slower second movement explores initially the chalumeau register, and this leads straight into the third movement which shows the jazzy side of the clarinet.
Guy's Rondo Variations is a bon bouche of nearly nine minutes, the finale of an orchestral concerto which he wrote for the great Jack Brymer. It is deftly transcribed for wind, and inhabits the witty world of Guy's Mockbeggar Variations, very English, full of charm and little surprises. Guy has also made an excellent transcription of Malcolm Arnold's Pre-Goodman Rag, stylisahly recapturing the verve of the original.
The most recent concerto premiered by Linda Merrick is the Clarinet Concerto by Stephen McNeff, who is composer in residence with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. McNeff's experience in the theatre equips him well for the pull and thrust of writing a concerto. This work has intense changes of energy and atmosphere, and after a stirring introduction to the slow movement on brass, worthy of Sibelius, a theme follows of limpid unhackneyed beauty. A recording with Merrick and the RNCM Wind Orchestra / Heron will be released in Autumn 2008.
General Overview Of Remaining Repertoire
There are two major works with jazzy overtones, Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto and Bernstein's sole work for wind ensemble, Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, both classics, to which can be added the Artie Shaw Concerto - we must try to persuade the Stravinskys, Bernsteins and Shaws of the 21st century to write for our medium, and at the highest level this must mean the involvement of WASBE in getting international commissioning consortia together. (The web is a fantastic tool - Charlie Parker met Stravinsky for a fascinating read).
I often find the music of both Nigel Clarke and Michael Daugherty a little aggressive for my taste, but in their major works for clarinet and wind they have both shown a new more lyrical side to their composition, and if you enjoy their music, you should get hold of these two works. Stephen Dodgson's little Concertante Capriccioso was written for the young virtuoso Michael Collins, has happily been published recently by Dennis Wick, and remains one of his best works, with its programme making it a natural choice for a Halowe'en concert.
James Fry's Concerto for Clarinet & Wind Ensemble is on a recording made by Joseph Missal and Oklahoma State University Wind Ensemble at CBDNA in Boulder in 1995. The work is just over twelve minutes long, in two movements, and on a quick hearing I found it quite striking, a brooding opening featuring cadenzas, and a second movement of considerable energy based on folk-like material. Contact Joseph Missal Ohio State University for more information.
Avant Garde Works
I gave the world premiere and second performance of Philip Grange's extraordinary Sheng Sheng Bui Shi; this is a major avant garde work, and has been rescued from oblivion by Philip Scott who has conducted two performances recently with the. Tackling this is a tough assignment, which will stretch any ensemble technically and emotionally, and Philip, soloist Sarah Williamson and the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain has recently recorded the concerto. I found Michael Finnissey's Giant Abstract Samba hard to get into but I am assured that it is well worth the effort.
Two works which we used to play reasonably frequently at the Royal Northern College of Music are the miniature concerto A Dramatic Landscape by John McLeod, written for amateur players in Peter Maxwell Davies' Festival in Orkney, and the Double Concerto by Krommer arranged for the small early 19th century Swedish military band by the composer Crussell. This works cries out for an edition, perhaps preserving the original scoring with some modern alternatives.
Robert Rumbelow's transcription of the Mozart Concerto made for the Eastman Wind Ensemble works extraordinarily well, using as it does a slightly enlarged Harmonie ensemble. It is worth mentioning that he has also tackled the Haydn Trumpet Concerto and Mozart Oboe and Horn Concerti.
I have conducted the Ponchielli which I remember as being agreeable but not as striking nor witty as the Krommer, while the Rimsky-Korsakov is a standard work, now probably getting fewer performances as more entertaining works emerge.
Finally one of the most effective solo works which I have conducted recently is Black Dogby the American composer, Scott McAllister. Written for Jim Croft and Frank Kowalsky and premiered at Florida State University, this is a kind of post Frank Zappa rhapsody, pools of almost silent lyricism reminding us of the start of the Copland Concerto, alternating with frenetic activity, a great piece for the soloist, players and audience.
Important reference dissertation:
Annotated survey of original Clarinet Concertos with Band by American Composers 1987 -1996, paper presented at RNCM, Manchester UK, CBDNA in Athens Ohio and International Clarinet Association, 1997 by David McClune, Professor of Clarinet and Director of Bands at Union University in Jackson, TN
Dr. David McClune
Director of Bands, Professor of Woodlands
1050 Union University Dr.Jackson, TN 38305
Twenty Five Year Celebration
A quarter of a century ago, a group of conductors, composers and publishers formed WASBE and BASBWE, the World Association for Symphonic Bands & Ensembles and the British Association of Symphonic Bands & Wind Ensembles. Partially thanks to this initiative, there is now an extensive "serious" international repertoire for the wind and ensemble; this is one of a series of entirely personal selections from the international repertoire for solo instruments; on my website will be found similar articles for saxophone, trumpet and trombone.
|Nigel Clark||Concerto||Euphonium WO/BB||Maecenas||UK|
|Martin Ellerby||Concerto||Euphonium WO/BB||Studio||UK|
|Adam Gorb||Concerto||Euphonium WO||Maecenas||UK|
|Joseph Horovitz||Concerto||Euphonium WO||Novello||UK|
|Philip Wilby||Concerto||Euphonium WO||Music Sales||UK|
|William Alwyn||Concerto||Flute 8tet||Legnick||UK|
|Henk Badings||Concerto||Flute WE||Peters||Netherlands|
|Kent Kennan||Night Soliloquy||Flute WO||Fischer||USA|
|Jonathan Newman||Concerto||Flute||OK Feel Good||USA|
|Kurt Schwertzig||Instant Music||Flute WE||Boosey||Austria|
|Philip Sparke||Lindisfarne Concero||Flute WO||Studio||UK|
|Philip Wilby||Concertino Pastorale||Flute WO||Maecenas||UK|
|Marco Putz||Concerto||Horn WO||Bronsheim||Luxembourg|
|Edward Harper||Double Variations||Oboe/Fg WE||OUP||UK|
|Jennifer Higdon||Concerto||Oboe WE||Composer||USA|
|Edwin Roxburgh||An Elegy for Ur||Oboe WE||Maecenas||UK|
|Ivan Tcherepnin||Concerto||Oboe WE||Peters||USA/Russia|
|Paul Creston||Concerto||Marimba WO||Schirmer||USA|
|Adam Gorb||The Elements||Percussion WE||Maecenas||UK|
|Gordon Jacob||Concerto||Timpani WO||R Smith||UK|
|Istvan Lang||Concertino||Xylophone WO||EMB/Boosey||Hungary|
|David Maslanka||Concerto||Marimba WO||Carl Fischer||USA|
|Toshiro Mayuzumi||Concerto||Percussion WE||Peters||Japan|
|Darius Milhaud||Concerto for 2 Pianos||pnos & Percussion||Durand||France|
|Thea Musgrave||Concerto (Journey...)||Marimba WE||Novello||UK|
|Qu Xiao Song||Concerto||Percussion WE||ms||China|
|David Bedford||Susato Variations||Piano WE||Novello||UK|
|George Gershwin||Rhapsody in Blue||Piano Band/we||Warner||USA|
|Edward Gregson||Concerto||Piano WO||Maecenas||UK|
|Friedrich Gulda||Concerto 2||Piano WO||Weinberger||Austria|
|Karl Amadeus Hartmann||Concerto||Piano WE||Schott||Germany|
|Hans Werner Henze||Soncertino||Piano WE||Schott||Germany|
|Alun Hoddinott||Concerto 2||Piano WE||OUP||Wales|
|Leos Janacek||Capriccio||Piano Brass||Artia||Czechoslovakia|
|Geoffrey King||Concerto||Piano WO||ms||UK|
|Istvan Lendvay||Concertino||Piano WE||EMB||Hungary|
|Olivier Messiaen||Oiseaux Exotiques||Piano WE||UMP||France|
|Igor Stravinsky||Concerto||Piano WE||Boosey||Russia|
|Luis Serrano Alarcon||Concertango||Alto sax, jazz trio||Piles||Spain|
|Ball, Michael||Concerto||Alto & Band||Maecenas||UK|
|Beurden, Bernard van||Concerto||Soprano & Bandemail@example.com|
|Beurden, Bernard van||Let's Go||9 Saxophones & Bandfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bourgeois, Derek||Romance||Alto and Band||G&M Brand|
|Casken, John||Distant Variations||4tet & Wind E.||Schott||UK|
|Colgrass, Michael||Dream Dancer||Alto & Wind E||Carl Fischer||Canada|
|Connor, Bill||After the Picture Show||4tet and Band||Bill Connor|
|Denisov, Edison (arr Smirnov)||Sonata||Alto & Chamber winds||Leduc|
|Fitkin, Graham||Game Show||Alto & Band||Graham Fitkin||UK|
|Goh, Zecharaiah||Concertino||Alto & Band||Leonard Tan email@example.com|
|Kechley, David||Restless Birds Before the Dark Moon||Alto & Band||Pine Valley Press|
|Larsen, Libby (arr Boyd)||Holy Roller||Alto & Band||OUP|
|Lemay, Robert||Ramallah||Alto and Ensemble||Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne|
|Linkola, Jukka||Concerto||Alto & Band||FMIC|
|Concerto||Soprano Saxophone||John Mackey||Osti Music||USA|
|Makris, Andreas||Fantasy and Dance||Alto & Band||Southern|
|Maslanka, David||Concerto||Alto & Wind E||Carl Fischer|
|Milhaud, Darius (arr Blomhert)||Scaramouche||Alto & Chamber winds||manuscript|
|Mower, Mike||Concerto for Alto Saxophone||Alto and Band||www.itchyfingers.com|
|Peaslee, Richard||Chicago Concerto||Baritone & Ensemble||www.schirmer.com|
|Scott, Andy||Dark Randrops||2 Saxophones and firstname.lastname@example.org|
Some Basic Repertoire For Saxophone And Band
|Badings, Henk||Concerto||Quartet & Wind Ensemble||Peters|
|Barker, Warren||Capriccio||Quartet & Wind Orchestra||Jenson|
|Benson, Warren||Star Edge||Alto & Wind Orchestra||Carl Fischer||USA|
|Benson, Warren||Concertino||Alto & Wind Orchestra||Carl Fischer||USA|
|Boutry, Roger||Divertimento||Alto & Band||Leduc|
|Colgrass, Michael||Urban Requiem||Quartet & Wind Ensemble||Carl Fischer||UK|
|Creston, Paul||Concerto||Alto & Wind Orchestra||Schirmer||USA|
|Dahl, Ingolf||Concerto||Alto & Wind Orchestra||ACA*||USA|
|Erickson, Frank||Concerto||Alto & Wind Orchestra||Bourne||USA|
|Gotkovsky, Ida||Concerto||Alto & Wind Orchestra||Molenaar||USA|
|Hartley, Walter||Concerto||Alto & Wind Orchestra||Presser||USA|
|Husa, Karel||Concerto||Alto & Wind Orchestra||AMP||Czechoslovakia/USA|
|Ito, Yasuhide||Concerto Fantastique||Alto & Wind Ensemble||manuscript||Japan|
|Kalinkowic||Concert Capriccio||Alto & Band|
|Linn , Robert||Concerto||Sop and Wind Band|
|Muldowney, Dominic||Concerto||Alto & WE/Str Quintet||UE||UK|
|Schuller, Gunther||Headin' out, Movin' in||Tenor & Jazz ensemble||Margun|
|Smith, Claude||Fantasia||Alto & Band||Wingert-Jones|
|Syler, James||Minton's Playhouse||Quartet, tape and WE||Ballerbach|
Saxophone And Wind Band/Orchestra/Ensemble
by Tim Reynish originally appearing in WASBE Newsletter 2001
Updated 15 January 2006
Introduction - The Last Picture Show
The late Warren Benson always counselled against making lists - and now I know why. My list of saxophone repertoire came out in the WASBE Newsletter in 2001, was updated in 2003 for the web, again in 2005 for my own web, and is being updated now to celebrate the quarter century of BASBWE & WASBE.
It is already out of date, not because of new pieces but of old, a Concerto for Four Saxophones and Band by Bill Connor, premiered in its band version by The Band of HM Royal Marines at Huddersfield BASBWE Conference in 1994, lasting forty four minutes and recapturing the flavour of the bands for the silent movies. But wait, there is a terrible sense of dèjà vu. I left out of my original list a work on a similar theme, also for quartet, the superb Minton's Playhouse by James Syler. Warren, you were as always absolutely right!
Some time ago I wrote a brief article for WASBE on Saxophone repertoire, inspired by the premiere of a new piece from Michael Colgrass by consortium members led by Kenneth Radnowsky, and performances of the Concerto by Michael Ball. Since then a lot has happened, and my article is even more out of date than it was.
While sending a note to colleagues on the WASBE Executive to ask if my article on WASBE website could be updated, I realised that my own web is out of date. At the BASBWE Conference November 2005, John Harle and Rob Buckland, with the Chethams School Wind Orchestra conducted by James Gourlay, gave a stunning performance of the latest BASBWE Consortium commission.
Adam Gorb wrote to me:
By the way Andy Scott's new double Saxophone concerto is absolutely tremendous - a really 21st century mix of jazz, pop and streetwise funky rhythms: along with Zechariah Goh's piece the best new wind band work of the year; you must catch it.
Andy's concerto for two saxophones is called 'Dark Raindrops' and will be published and available for hire from Astute Music. Contact email@example.com
John Harle In UK Premiere
The Concerto by Michael Ball I commissioned some time ago, and I was delighted to be able to play it recently at the Royal College of Music with a super young Australian player, Amy Dickson, winner of a number of very prestigious awards. A work I was keen on then was David Kechley's Restless Birds before the Dark Moon and I am delighted to have conducted the UK premiere of this at the Barbican on October 24th with John Harle and the Guildhall; this was repeated at the International Saxophone Day in Manchester on Sunday November 6th.
This update is again inspired by a spate of world premieres, Mike Mower's virtuoso Concerto, premiered in Lexington Kentucky on Monday 17th April; sadly the Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Orchestra by Richard Rodney Bennett due to be played at BASBWE in 2005 has been cancelled. The Mike Mower Concerto is a tour de force for Professor of Saxophone at University of Kentucky, Lexington, who is a very physical and exciting player. I know nothing about jazz, but I love the freewheeling inventiveness of Mower's concerto, and also his Flute Concerto, full of fun, sometimes very beautiful, often breath-takingly virtuosic, always challenging, rarely predictable.
Browsing through the web, one comes across all sorts of ideas. In my first web homepage I noted a work by Richard Peaslee called Chicago Concerto for Alto and Ensemble, published by Schirmer. I first came across Peaslee when I was, for a wonderful three weeks, director of music in Paris for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre production by Peter Brook of Midsummer Night's Dream; Richard's music was evocative and charming, and I was delighted to come across his Arrows of Time arranged for Trombone and Wind Ensemble. I guess that Chicago Concerto will be a real find, especially for baritone players.
My 2004 December Homepage noted that the winner of the 2004 International Harmoniecompositiewedstrijd Harelbeke Muziekstad (catchy title) was Ramallah for alto saxophone and wind ensemble by the Canadian composer Robert Lemay, from Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario.
In the list of "new" works are some old ones, but they are relatively new to me. One composer whose music I enjoy is Bernard van Beurden, greatly under-rated; his Concertino for Soprano Saxophone is charming and well-worth exploring, and I am sure that the "Let's Go" for Nine Saxophones will be a great vehicle for a good saxophone studio.
The Old Original Article
There has recently been a terrific crop of new works for Saxophone and Wind Band/Orchestra/Ensemble or whatever you want to call it. The biggest problem is simply getting the news around about major premieres, and here the World Association for Symphonic Bands & Ensembles has a major role to play if players, conductors and audience let WASBE know about performances. One of the great benefits of the internet and email is that there is now no excuse for our not exchanging information.
Restless Birds Before The Dark Moon
I think that one of the most striking pieces I have heard for a long time is David Kechley's Restless Birds Before the Dark Moon, commissioned by the United States Military Academy Band at West Point to celebrate their bicentennial, and premiered by this band at the International Saxophone Symposium in Montreal, Canada on the 7th of July 2000 by alto saxophone soloist Wayne Tice with conductor David Deitrick.
Two movements of technical virtuosity frame a more reflective chorale-like movement, which has at its kernel another explosion of virtuosity for the soloist accompanied by percussion. This is an exciting work, contemporary but audience friendly, and it is not at all surprising that the work won one of the major composition prizes - the National Band Association Revelli Memorial Prize - in 2000.
David Kechley has written several substantial works involving saxophones, including In the Dragon's Garden for Alto Saxophone and Guitar, and Stepping Out for Saxophone Quartet. He is on the faculty at Williams University and can be contacted by e-mail.
Denisov And Larsen Arranged
I am not personally a great fan of arrangements unless they are most skilfully done. However when an arrangement will introduce a piece to a wider audience, and where the transcription has been skilfully made by a composer of stature or a very experienced arranger, then there is a good case for performing them. Two important contemporary works and a mid-20th century classic are now available with wind accompaniment and can be wholeheartedly recommended.
The Russian composer Dmitri Smirnov writes, "My teacher, Edison Denisov (1929-1996), in his youth (in 1950) sent to Shostakovich all his early scores, and Dmitri Shostakovich found "the great composer's gift" in them. As a respectful tribute to Shostakovich, he wrote a piece named DSCH (1969). And it was no mere surprise that his next composition Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (1970) also begins and is based on the monogram of Shostakovich's name: "DSC" says the Saxophone, "H" answers the piano. The piece became one of the greatest hits of the saxophone repertoire. I met saxophonist Arno Bornkamp a couple of years ago, and he said: 'I adore the Denisov Sonata. It is one of the best pieces written for saxophone. I dream to play it with orchestra as a saxophone concerto.' Now this dream becomes a reality. Commissioned by the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Duration is about 12 minutes"
This arrangement is scored for flute, pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns, with percussion and double bass and is published by Leduc. Another piece with chamber ensemble is an arrangement of Darius Milhaud's Scaramouche made by the Dutch conductor, arranger and musicologist, Bastiaan Blomhert. Authorized by Mme. Milhaud and Editions Salabert, the work is for double wind quintet with tuba/double bass. It is in manuscript. Information is available from WASBE member Bastiaan Blomhert.
Libby Larsen's Holy Roller for saxophone and piano has quickly established itself as a great recital piece. I have not actually heard it yet in the original, but John Boyd's transcription for band, published by Oxford University Press, is so theatrical that I cannot imagine that the original can be quite as effective. There was a memorable UK premiere by Rob Buckland, who burst on the stage and began ranting and raving like a Southern preacher, very authentic until we began to hear him pleading for subscriptions to WASBE to be sent to I think him.
Michael Colgrass has now contributed two major works to the saxophone world. His Urban Requiem for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Orchestra is published by Carl Fischer and is available on at least two recordings, one by the commissioning body, the University of Miami Wind Ensemble conducted by Gary Green, TROY212, the other by Craig Kirchhoff and the University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Ensemble, recorded on innova 517.
His most recent work was the result of a commission from a consortium of international ensembles, put together by Kenneth Radnowsky, who gave the first performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. A month later, the critic of the Boston Globe, Richard Dyer, wrote of the United States premiere at the New England Conservatory: "The performance under [Charles] Peltz was first-rate, and the music felt - and you do feel Colgrass's music - gorgeous, dramatic, compelling. Dream Dancer issues a promissory note for an even more exciting century for this musical medium. Colgrass uses tradition as the basis for creating a future."
The scoring of this work is for the wind, brass and percussion of the symphony orchestra, picc, fl, alt fl, 2 obs, (2nd dbl Eng hn), Eb clar, Bb clar, bass clar, 2 bsns, cbn, 4 hns, 3 tpts, 3 tbns, tba, keyboard (pno & cel), hp, 2 cb, 4-5 perc.
British Music For Saxophone
Here then are six more major contributions to the swiftly increasing repertoire for solo saxophone and wind ensemble/wind orchestra, to which I think can be added three works which I commissioned from UK composers.
Ball's Saxophone Concerto (Maecenas) and Graham Fitkin's Game Show (ms) were both commissioned for and premiered by the Manchester-based player Robert Buckland, while John Casken's Distant Variations for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble (Schotts) was written for Buckland's Apollo Quartet.
Ball's Concerto is an energetic work, in three movements, scored for a school or community band at about American Grade 4. Game Show was a joint commission with the Uster Festival and was premiered there in 1997. It is a restless minimalist work, curious in that the band includes three soprano saxophones.
Distant Variations was premiered at London's Barbican in 1997 and has received performances worldwide since then. It is cast in one movement, tough, closely argued, and requiring virtuosity of both the quartet and the orchestra.
For more information about these three works, contact the publishers or Rob Buckland.
Headin' Out, Movin' In
Incidentally, on my return from USA after hearing the American premiere of the Colgrass, I was assailed by Andy Scott of the Apollo Quartet, who wanted to know why there were not any concertos featuring tenor saxophone. There is at least one which I heard at New England and enjoyed hugely, Headin'Out, Movin' In for Tenor Saxophone and Jazz Ensemble by Gunther Schuller, published by Margun/ Bote und Bock.
Wasbe And The Saxophone
Various WASBE Conferences concerts have featured saxophone soloists. In 1999, Norbert Nozy gave a terrific performance of the brilliant Concert Capriccio for Alto Sax and Band on a Theme by Paganini by Vassili Kalinkovic, (recorded on Mark Records 3141MCD).
In Valencia in 1993, the principal alto saxophone of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, Nobuya Sugawa, played the Concerto Fantastique by Yasuhide Ito, and in 1987 at the Boston Conference, John Paynter and the Northshore Concert Band premiered Warren Barker's Capriccio for Saxophone Quartet and Band.
In 2001 in Lucerne, one of the high spots or low spots, (controversy raged) was the performance of the Mahlerian Saxophone Concerto by David Maslanka, given by University of Arizona Wind Ensemble and Joseph Lulloff, the performers who premiered the work at the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference in March 2000.
Marvin Eckroth writes: Gene Rousseau and F. Fennell produced a CD a couple of years ago of all solo saxophone works with wind ensemble, so more stuff is around.
Just a couple of items here: Divertimento by Roger Boutry is now available with Wind Band, published by Leduc (Boutry did the Band setting), and is really worthwhile.
It would also be worth listing the Claude Smith Fantasia published by Wingert-Jones (played at WASBE 1989 by Dale Underwood) as well as the very contemporary Kafr of Christian Lauba (Saxophone and Flute Soloists) played at the 1997 WASBE Conference; this is a fine work that takes more than one hearing to appreciated and not always accessible work, but is very significant and distinctive.
Carl Fischer: www.carlfischer.com
Graham Fitkin: www.fitkin.com
Jenson: see www.halleonard.com
Margun: see www.musicsales.com
OUP (Oxford): choose UK Music pages, USA Music pages, or OUP International Site
Pine Valley Press: PO Box 582, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA; tel. +1 (413) 458 2431
G. Schirmer: www.schirmer.com
|Jean Francaix||Mozart New Look||Bass WE||Schott||France|
|Friedrich Gulda||Concerto||Cello WE||Weinberger||Austria|
|Jacques Ibert||Concerto||Cello WE||Heugel||France|
|Frank Martin||Ballade||Viola WE||Universal||Switzerland|
|Martinu||Concertino||Cello WE||Ceski Hud||Czechoslovakia|
|Nikos Skalkottas||Concerto||Violin/Viola WO||Bote&Bock||Greece|
|Kurt Weill||Concerto||Violin WE||UE||Germany|
|Derek Bourgeois||Concerto||3 Trombones & band||Warwick Music||UK|
|William Goldstein||Colloquy||Trombone/Ensemble||Details firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Adam Gorb||Downtown Diversions||Trombone WO||Maecenas||UK|
|Frigyes Hidas||Rhapsody||Bass Trombone fWO||EMB/Boosey||Hungary|
|Alun Hoddinott||Ritornelli||Trombone WE||Wicks||Wales|
|Gordon Jacob||Cameos||Bass Tromb WO||Emerson||UK|
|Mats Larsson-Gothe||Concerto||Trombone WO||STIM||Sweden|
|Richard Peaslee||Arrows of Time||Trombone/ Ensemble||Presser||USA|
|Gyorgy Ranki||Tales of Father Goose||Trombone WE||EMB||Hungary|
|Gunther Schuller||Eine Kleine Posaunemusik||Trombone WE||AMP||USA|
|Jeff Tyzik||Concerto||Trombone WO||Details email@example.com|
|Philip Wilby||White Knucklebone Ride||Trombone WO||Novello||UK|
I have recently received a couple of enquiries from colleagues looking for concertos featuring trombone. In response to this, I have listed the works which I personally have or would programme.
Johan De Meij & Derek Bourgeois
I must confess here to a problem of being perhaps considered a musical snob and there are a couple of very popular works which you will not find listed.
I have listened to both works several times and find the musical content just does not interest me sufficiently (pompous ass that I am). I have argued about this with Derek on his lovely home in Mallorca, and I suspect that Johan knows my views. Both are incredibly talented composers and arrangers who deliberately write in a populist mode for bands, and if you like their music, one or other concerto would be excellent in your programme.
Christian Lindberg wrote of Derek's Concerto:
Bourgeois has not worried about the historical necessities and rules, which dictate the novelty of style regarded as so important by some compositional schools; he keeps instead to traditional musical patterns.
Today's Dilemma - We Can't Unpick The Twentieth Century
One of the great things about music today is that composers are freed from the shackles of modernism and can write what they please. The results are evident in our field of band and wind ensemble, where many extremely talented composers write in a style which they know will work, will sound good with good parts for the players and a good audience reaction. As Simon Rattle says "Don't frighten the horses".
For the more "serious" composers, Robin Holloway perhaps sums up the present state of a great deal of British music of today when he writes:
I am trying to write music, which, though conversant with most of the revolutionary technical innovations of the last 80 years or so, and by no means turning its back on them, nonetheless keeps a continuity of language and expressive intention with the classics and romantics of the past.
Composer, Diana Burrell, spoke of her perception of the job of a composer:
Try and find a language which doesn't disregard everything which has happened in the twentieth century, that does acknowledge Stravinsky and Schoenberg and Boulez, while being simple enough to work for the concert hall, or church, or for young people - the wider community in some way, but which acknowledges that this is where we are - we can't go back. We can't unpick the twentieth century.
So while my list does not include the concertos by Derek and Johan, (though you will find links to websites to track them down in this article) I do recommend very highly Derek's early Concerto for Three Trombones and Strings, a gritty exciting work which reminds me of the Bartok Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion. Derek has arranged it skilfully for wind band and it is available from
1 Broomfield Road
When Derek is in his populist mode, I do often find his music trite. I don't know the Double Concerto, but I suspect that it is "easy listening" like the other two concertos in this listing. However, he always writes challenging idiomatic parts and you may want to investigate these works, but for me, the Concerto for Three Trombones is the gem of these four.
- Concerto for Three Trombones and Wind Band Three Solo Trombones, Timps, 1 Perc, Strings Warwick
- Double Concerto for Trumpet, Bass Trombone & Band Concert Band Hafabra Music (The Bass Trombone Solo may be played on a Tuba)
- Concerto for Brass Sextet and Concert Band Concert Band Solo Trumpet/Picc Trpt, Cornet/Flugel, Hafabra Music
- Concerto for Trombone and Concert Band Trombone Solo and Concert Band G & M Brand
ALL GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES
The genesis of this article lies in a 2001 CBDNA Conference in Denton, Texas, where I heard three to my mind outstanding works for solo trombone and ensemble:
In our constant quest for the new, we often forget the old; I remember Bob Ponto reckoning that we should stop commissioning and just revisit the libraries of scores. However, if anyone wants to get together a consortium for another score from William Goldstein, count me in.
His website has the following information:
Colloquy for Solo Trombone and Symphonic Band was commissioned by The United States Army Band and premièred before 12,000 people at an outdoor concert in Washington DC at the Watergate the summer of 1967. The New York première took place that winter at Carnegie Hall. Colloquy is a favorite of the trombone soloists of the Boston Symphony and New York Philharmonic. Since 1992 when Colloquy for Solo Trombone and Symphony Orchestra premièred Colloquy has become repertoire. It has been performed worldwide in both orchestral and symphonic band versions by both Jazz and Symphonic players. Joe Alessi , soloist of the New York Philharmonic, recently recorded Colloquy, as did Ron Baron, soloist of the Boston Symphony, a few years earlier.
Colloquy possibly represents the best example of contemporary writing with jazz implications in the entire trombone repertoire.
I once had a great gig rehearsing Richard Peaslee's music for the RSC /Peter Brook production of Midsummer Night's Dream. He is a terrific tunesmith, and it is strange that we have not commissioned wind music from him. Arrows of Time, a fine piece for trombone and piano, effectively rescored (as is Libby Larsen's Holy Roller for alto saxophone and band in the version by John Boyd). The third of the three, Downtown Diversions, is for me one of the great crossover pieces; like the Trumpet Concerto of Richard Rodney Bennett, it is a great mix of jazz and popular without ever descending into cliché, or at least not too far. Adam spoke at a WASBE discussion of his belief in light music as an important facet of his compositional style.
Classic - popular, well I am of the belief that I cannot ignore over the last hundred years what has happened in popular music, and I think for the wind band or ensemble, there are obvious elements in some pieces that I write of the big band, the jazz ensemble, even to a slight extent the rock band. I like to have piano, bass and drumkit and have used this in three or four of my pieces.
Works With Solo Bass Trombone
Having come clean about my prejudices, I think most of the works listed above I would be happy to programme. There are several works here featuring bass trombone, Cameos by the ever reliable Gordon Jacob, one of the best works by Frigyes Hidas and the works by Derek Bourgeois.
Tenor Trombone Repertoire
One problem with attending conferences, is that some works make a greater impression than others, and some get lost. One work I heard in the 2005 CBDNA in New York was an impressive Trombone Concerto by Jeff Tyzik; information from the director of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Mark Scatterday. firstname.lastname@example.org
Of the tenor trombone works, the Mats Larsson I find effective but a little dry, but I love Tales of Father Goose by Ranki, a rare funny piece in our repertoire. Schuller's Eine kleine Posaunemusik is another rare piece, funny, sad, virtuosic, lyrical - I always find listening or conducting this piece an emotional experience. Philip Wilby's White Knuckle Ride is a short virtuosic bonne bouche, very good fun and as far as I remember written with enormous skill so that it sounds far more terrifying than it is to play, a terrific encore piece.The Ranki is scored either for chamber ensemble or full band, and another fine work with chamber accompaniment is Ritornelli by Hoddinott, now published by Denis Wick.
Denis Wick Publishing,
Telephone (44) 1372-849829
FAX (44) 1372-849707
Denis has done us a great service by transcribing a great deal of romantic and early 20th century music for wind band. A commentator recently said that he thought Denis' arrangement of the Gordon Jacob concerto was better than the original. There are a number of war-horses, the Ferdinand Concertino, the Guilmant, Grondahl and Rimsky-Korsakov, and it is well-worth exploring the Buxton Orr Concerto.
|Mary Jean van Appledoorn||Concerto for Trumpet|
|Richard Rodney Bennett||Concerto||Trumpet WO||Novello||UK|
|Jerry Bilik||Trumpet Concerto|
|+ Larry Bitensky||Awake you Sleepers|
|Henry Brant||Concerto for Trumpet or Alto Saxophone|
|Timothy Broege||Concert Piece for Trumpet and Band|
|* Patrizio Esposito||Concertino for Trumpet|
|Robert Farnon||Blow the Wind Southerly|
|Jean Francaix||Le Gai Paris||Trumpet WE||Schott||France|
|* David Gillingham||When speaks the signal-trumpet tone|
|* Stephen Gryc||Evensong|
|* Daron Hagen||Concerto for Flugelhorn & Wind Ensemble|
|Walter Hartley||Concertino for Trumpet|
|Bernard Heiden||Concerto for Trumpet|
|* Jacques Hetu||Concerto for Trumpet|
|Alan Hovhaness||Return and Rebuild the Desolate Places|
|Karel Husa||Concerto||Trumpet WO||AMP||Czechoslvakia/USA|
|Andre Jolivet||Concerto||Trumpet WE||Heugel||France|
|Jan Kapr||Omaggio alla Tromba|
|* Kent Kennan||Sonata for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble|
|William Latham||Suite for Trumpet|
|+ Peter Lawrence||Dialogue for Trumpet, Cornet and Wind Band|
|Istvan Lendvay||Concerto||Trumpet WO||EMB/Boosey||Hungary|
|* Jukka Linkola||Tango-Tarantella|
|William Linn||Concerto Grosso (horn, trumpet, trombone)|
|Martin Mailman||Concertino for Trumpet and Band|
|* Andrei Petrov||Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Orchestra|
|* Amilcare Ponchielli||Trumpet Concerto|
|* Alfred Reed||Concerto for Trumpet, Cornet and Flugel Horn||< /td>|
|Jerzy Sapieyevski||Concerto for Trumpet and Winds|
|* Fisher Tull||Rhapsody for Trumpet and Winds|
|* Joseph Turrin||Fandango for Trumpet and Trombone & Wind Band||USA|
|Joseph Turrin||Chronicles||Trumpet WO||C Allan||USA|
|Maurice Whitney||Concertino for Trumpet|
|+ Alec Wilder||Concerto no. 1 for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble|
|* Alec Wilder||Concerto no. 2 for Trumpet, Flugel Horn and Wind Ensemble|
|* Dana Wilson||Trumpet Concerto|
|+ Thorstein Wollmann||Concerto for Jazz-Trumpet & Symphonic Band|
Arrangements With "Expanded Harmonie"
|Haydn/Rumbelow||Trumpet Concerto in Eb|
|Vivaldi/Rumbelow||Double Concerto for Two Trumpets|
A partial listing made for WASBE and the ITG by Timothy Reynish, July 2002 and posted on the WASBE web in 2003.
Works marked with an asterisk (*) are either in my CD collection or I can recommend them from personal experience of performances.
The three works marked with a "+" were premiered at the ITG Conference in Manchester, UK in July 2002.
Researching the repertoire has been a terrific pleasure; I believe that there are more significant works for trumpet and wind ensemble/band than for any other combination. These include:
- Kennan's own arrangement of his Sonata
- Turrin's Chronicles written for Philip Smith of the New York Philharmonic
- Lendvay's virtuosic Concerto which was premiered by Martin Winter at the 1991 Manchester WASBE Conference
- Hagen's "funk" crossover Concerto - think Bogart in a trenchcoat, night-time (again) and falling rain
- Jean Franüaix's little chamber work with wind dectet
- Alfred Reed's exploration of popular idioms
- Robert Rumbelow's expert realizations of Harmonie accompaniment to the Haydn and Vivaldi Double, written for the Eastman Wind Ensemble
And thanks to the ITG Conference in Manchester, July 2002, we have three more concertos!
Richard Rodney Bennett: Concerto
My own personal contribution to the genre of Trumpet with wind is in commissioning one of my favourite works, a "Desert Island disc", the Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Orchestraby Richard Rodney Bennett, with its haunting slow movement, a tribute to Miles Davis based on "The Maid of Cadiz," which happens to be very similar to the theme of the whole concerto (a twelve-note theme which you can come away whistling).
Jean Franüaix: Le Gai Paris
Scored for 1222;2 and trumpet; Published by Schott
One of my favorite miniature concerti for and instrument, this is a typical witty Franüaix piece, not too difficult but very effective.
Daron Hagen: Concerto for Flugelhorn & Wind Ensemble (1994)
Available on hire from E.C. Schirmer
The work was written originally for Flugelhorn and strings in 1993, the wind version was premiered by the Northwest Washington Wind Orchestra conducted by Carolyn Vian with Donna Hagen as soloist. The composer writes:
All in good fun, the concerto is a composer's holiday which takes a wry affectionate look at three pop idioms. The first section ius marked "precise funk" and rings some new changes on the sort of punchy rhythms favoured by such so-called "Cross-over" talents as the Michaels Torke and Daugherty during the early eighties. It uses as a core idea a four bar groove from Torke's infectious Adjustable Wrench. The second section is marked "slow swing" and consists of an extended vocalise for the soloist which evolves into a traditional unfolding 32-bar chorus. It's an homage to the great film noir soundtracks -think Bogart in a trenchcoat, night-time (again) and falling rain. The final section is marked "driving bop". It is a series of written out choruses based on an eight bar "head" from Stanzas, Book IV by my first composition teacher, Les Thimmig. The genesis of this movement goes way back to when, around Christmas of 1983, Les's son Adam was born. I sketched them as a congratulatory gift under the title, Merry Christmas, it's a Boy.
Recorded by Vern Sielert on Arsis CD 112
Baylor University Wind Ensemble, conductor Michael Haithcock.
Kent Kennan: Sonata for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble
Published Warner Bros Publications
Recorded by James Thompson with Eastman Wind Ensemble, conductor Donald Hunsberger, on DH001CD, Eastman Wind Ensemble at 50.
Kent Kennan writes:
"I received a commission from the National Schools of Music to write a piece that was to be part of a series of contemporary works for various brass instruments. I think that it is a very hard combination to write for -trumpet and piano -partly because of the balance problems. I conceived of the original version as a sonata with more or less equal parts, rather than a piece with an all-important solo part and subordinate background. As a result, the new trumpet and wind ensemble version offers more opportunities for the two to interchange dynamically, so that the trumpet is sometimes just the top voice of the brass choir, for example."
Kamillo Lendvay: Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Symphony Orchestra
- 1. Senza Sordino
- 2. Intermezzo lirico
- 3. Rondo in Modo Classico
This was written for the 1991 International Conference of WASBE and was premiered at the Royal Northern College of Music by Martin Winter with the Berkshire Youth Wind Orchestra. The first movement, Senza sordino, was originally written as a solo work for the ITG. Like the second, the movement is in a lyrical, discursive style, free cadenza-like passages alternating with more rhythmic sections. The finale is far from a pastiche classical movement, it is a bravura movement with an ironic march section.
Recorded on Hungaraton HDC 31787
Joseph Turrin: Chronicles
The composer writes:
"I composed Chronicles in the summer of 1998. It is the second large trumpet work I've written for Phil Smith, the first being a Concerto for Trumpet commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in 1988. This work in many ways could also be considered a concerto if not in a strict sense of form at least in its expansiveness."
Dana Wilson: Trumpet Concerto
Dana Wilson writes:
WThroughout the world, the trumpet has been associated with leadership since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians, its image having been found for example, inscribed in the tomb of Tutankhamen and burial grounds in ancient Peru. This concerto is an exploration relationships, with the trumpet soloist in the role of leader. In the first movement, the trumpet takes charge of the ensemble "masses" and ends up - via call and response - directing them to action. The second movement reveals a leader amidst tragedy and is a meditation on the grief and compassion that a leader must express for the group. The third movement begins with the trumpet's uncertain response to "folk-like" community concerns, and works very gradually and arduously towards the leader's confluence with the body politic."
Haydn/Rumbelow: Trumpet Concerto In Eb
Published by Warner Bros Publications
Some time ago, Robert Rumbelow began a series of arrangements of classical concerti for what he called extended Harmonie, basically a scoring for classical octet, plus flutes, trumpets and drums. There are now versions extant of the 2nd Mozart Concerto for Horn in Eb K417, the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, Vivaldi Double and the Haydn Concerto. Those with doubts as to how this would work might be interested in a comment by Kenneth Grant who premiered the Clarinet Concerto in this version, and who writes, "In a performance with orchestral accompaniment, you have the feeling that the clarinet solo voice is standing out in front of the ensemble -almost apart from the string textures -while this new wind Harmoniemusik accompaniment wraps around you and supports your sound."
Vivaldi/Rumbelow: Double Concerto For Two Trumpets
On hire from Robert Rumbelow, Director of Bands and Wind Ensemble,
Columbus State University, 4225 University Avenue
Columbus GA 31907
Tel 1 706 653 0003
|Martin Ellerby||Concerto||Tuba WO||Maecenas||UK|
|Edward Gregson||Concerto||Tuba WO||Novello||UK|
|George Kleinsinger||Tubby the Tuba||Tuba WO||Schirmer||USA|
|Ray Premru||Concerto||Tuba WO||ms||USA|
|Ole Schmitt||Concerto||Tuba WO/vcl/Kb||Music Sales||Denmark|