• Gunther Schuller
  • Concerto da camera No. 2 (2002)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • 2200/0220/perc/hp/str
  • 23 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:

My new Concerto da Camera—it is actually the second work with that title, the other one composed in 1970—is the result of a twin-commission by two chamber orchestras, the ProArte orchestra in Boston (of which I am Conductor Laureate, having worked with them for over twenty years), and Orchestra 2001.
The work is in two joined movements (played without interruption), one slow, the other quite fast. Instead of the usual chamber orchestra instrumentation of single or double winds plus strings, I chose a less common ensemble of pairs of flutes, oboes, trumpets and trombones, with a small complement of strings, harp, and percussion (one player). This eliminates clarinets, bassoons and horns and their mellower colors from the timbral palette, and emphasizes instead the higher-register winds (except for the trombones) and a tarter, brighter, friskier sound. Interestingly, and somewhat to my surprise, these timbral choices led me to write certain gestures, figures, and instrumental combinations that I had never, to the best of my recollection, used before. Whether this is immediately audible to a first-time listener is debatable, but for me it was a fascinating experience—very much like a painter who has always used the full color spectrum suddenly limiting his palette to, say, only black, gray, and blue-green.

-- Gunther Schuller