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Concerto for Orchestra : full orchestra

by Elliott Gyger (2020)

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Concerto for Orchestra


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Concerto for Orchestra / Elliott Gyger.

Library shelf no. 784.2/GYG 2 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

While for most concert-goers the title "Concerto for Orchestra" is associated almost exclusively with the 1943 work by Béla Bartók, there is a rich tradition of hundreds of examples across almost a century. To my mind, works in the genre are distinguished by being not only "for", but in some sense "about", the orchestra, often with connotations of virtuosic celebration. This piece definitely belongs in that mould, exploring the common trope of the orchestra as a metaphor for an ideal society. As it took shape, however, its design and content also came to reflect the contemporary challenges of 2020 - that strangest of years - in a very direct way.

My Concerto for Orchestra follows Bartók's example in its symmetrical five-movement arc, but the five movements play without a break. Another important difference is that the weightiest movements are II and IV, with the shorter movements I, III and V providing a frame. In this and other respects the piece is also particularly influenced by Robin Holloway's exuberant Second Concerto for Orchestra of 1979.

The individual movements take their titles and inspiration from a variety of verbal quotations, all linked by the guiding theme of hope.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: 3 Flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 3 oboes (3rd doubling cor anglais), 3 clarinets in B flat (3rd doubling bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3rd doubling contrabassoon), 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani ( 5 drums), 2 percussion (xylophone, tubular bells, 5 woodblocks, 3 suspended cymbals, pair of cymbals, marimba, crotales, 5 cowbells, triangle), celesta (piano), harp, strings.

Duration: 24 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: I. A tattered flag and a dream of time (Carl Sandburg) -- II. The thing with feathers (Emily Dickinson) --  III. A crack in everything (Leonard Cohen) -- IV. Intermingled, impure, we shine (Tricia Dearborn) -- V. A hungry and angry hope(Julia Baird).

Commission note: commissioned for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra by Geoff Stearn

First performance: by West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Strausser at WASO: Jessica Cottis conducts Dvořák’s New World (Perth Concert Hall) on 22 Apr 2022

Performances of this work

22 Apr 2022: at WASO: Jessica Cottis conducts Dvořák’s New World (Perth Concert Hall). Featuring West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Strausser.

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