• Sebastian Fagerlund
  • Terral (2021)
    (Concerto for flute and orchestra)

  • Henry Litolff’s Verlag GmbH & Co. KG (World)

Commissioned by the Tapiola Sinfonietta and Sharon Bezaly

  • fl(afl) + 1.1.0(bcl)+bb-cl.1(cbn)/
  • Flute/Alto Flute
  • 25 min

Programme Note

Since the Violin Concerto ”Darkness in Light”, which was completed in 2012, Sebastian Fagerlund has given all his concert works titles. These titles almost always refer to the atmosphere and the sound world of the works rather than being specifically programmatic or descriptive.

So what can we expect of the new flute concerto (2020-21) called ‘Terral’?

 “The word ’Terral’ brings to mind the earth and ground, but it’s also the name for the warm desert wind that occurs in southern Europe,” Fagerlund says. “The name came to mind along with the shaping of the work’s soundworld. I thought of the material’s imagery, in which the soil or sand reveals new surfaces in the wind. It’s about constant change.”

Fagerlund’s previous concerto was a nearly 40-minute cello concerto ”Nomade” (2018) for large symphonic forces. In this new flute concerto, he wanted to approach the composition from a different perspective, consciously using a smaller ensemble, which suited the main commissioning orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, well. The essential inspiration was also the flutist Sharon Bezaly, at whose request the work was born. According to Fagerlund, Bezaly’s wonderful sound and musicianship influenced the work:

“We were in frequent contact during the compositional process, and I sent her occasional sketches that we looked at, for example, the small glissands and ‘inflections’ which are more limited on the flute than on the clarinet.”

According to Fagerlund, the flute concerto represents a step forward in his production in terms of melody. It is also more tonally emphasized in harmony than his earlier works, although it does not follow the paths of traditional harmony. The sounding image is translucent and airy, as you would expect from a work related to the wind, and there are also fast “wind-like” gestures in the orchestra.

The concerto consists of three movements. The opening movement begins as a slow painting, in which the soloist initially uses an alto flute. The long canon of the strings, starting from the bass, contains the DNA of the musical material and also anticipates the main subject of the third movement. In the middle of the first movement is a more lively, fast- paced episode, which in turn anticipates the second part, from which the expression returns to the slower mood of the beginning.

The middle movement is a scherzo-like, lively dialogue between the soloist and orchestra. At the end of the movement, the mood stabilizes and leads uninterruptedly to the third movement, where the previous materials and dimensions of the work are combined and which are further complemented by the cadence of the flute. In the background of the third movement a traditional passacaglia structure can be detected.

Kimmo Korhonen (Translation Edition Peters)