• Judith Weir
  • Several Concertos (1980)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Lontano with funds from the Arts Council

  • fl(afl.pic)/pf/vc
  • 15 min

Programme Note

SEVERAL CONCERTOS consists of three movements, in each of which one instrument assumes the role of soloist, whilst the other two instruments are laced in the background of the music.

In the first movement, CONCERTO FOR VIOLONCELLO, the cello moves in and out of a fast, high texture set up by the flute and piano. Next comes the CONCERTO FOR PIANOFORTE, in which the piano part combines detailed and delicate passage work with the traditional huge virtuoso piano-playing style. The soloist is instructed to execute the considerable number of wide note clusters in the movement by "placing the relevant limbs carefully and ceremoniously on the keys as if in an oriental martial art". Finally, in the CONCERTO FOR PICCOLO, the piccolo is given music of a more relaxed and lyrical character than is normal in Western classical piccolo music. The second half of the movement, in which the piccolo, marked cantabile, is accompanied by tremolando muted cello and damped piano, was inspired by a recording of Rumanian music for the pan-pipes.

SEVERAL CONCERTOS, commissioned by Lontano with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain, was written during 1980 and first performed in Dundee in 1981. It lasts about fifteen minutes.

© Judith Weir