Concerto for Flute and Orchestra

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

Rental
Performing Ensemble: Flute with Orchestra
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

One of the great joys in writing a concerto is the opportunity to explore the spiritual nature of an instrument in a particularly intense way. In approaching the composition of such a work, I have found it refreshing to reconsider the nature of the solo instrument - for instance, to raise the question anew: what is virtuosity? In the case of the flute, I felt that while bravura performance is very much in its nature, the flute?s mythical power is in the long-breathed line.

Another challenge in writing a concerto is working out the relationship of soloist and orchestra. I think that a concerto should emphasize the starring role of the soloist yet assemble an orchestra strong enough to stand up to the solo instrument, so that a real dialogue can result. The soloist should not have to force to be heard clearly, nor should the orchestra play only a supportive role.

The first movement of my Flute Concerto (Andante misterioso: Allegro) begins slowly and mysteriously with long lines, breaks into a spirited allegro and includes a virtuoso cadenza.

The elegiac slow movement (Lento), with its aria-like contemplative meditation, is, for me, the heart of the piece.

In contrast, the brisk finale (Allegro con spirito) is, overall, dancelike-exuberant and playful.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Boston Symphony for Doriot Anthony Dwyer.
Composition Date 1989
Duration 18:00
Orchestration Solo Fl.; 0 2(E.H.) 2 2 - 0 2(Cornet) 3 0; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere April 26th, 1990. Doriot Anthony Dwyer, Flute, Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Seiji Ozawa, Boston, Massachusetts.