Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra

Samuel Adler

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Quick Overview

The Concerto was commissioned by Nicholas Goluses, Adam Holzman and Stephen Robinson and completed in September 1994. There are two versions of this work: one for orchestra and the other for wind ensemble.

I always write a work specifically for the person or persons who request it, and having worked with all three or at least being familiar with the way these three artists play, I tailored the work for them, and it is my hope that it fits their personality and their playing style.

The Concerto is in three rather short movements with a total playing time of about 19 minutes. The first movement marked ?Very fast and rhythmic? is in a modified sonata form with two ?energies? playing off against one another. The first of these is characterized by a triplet feeling, while the second is more linear and lyrical. The more driving triplet ?energy? predominates the piece and constantly intrudes whenever the more lyrical passages want to take over. There is constant dialogue between soloists and the ensemble to make their roles almost equal.

Movement two begins with a horn solo and emphasizes the semitone, then chords in the guitar lead to a section which sounds much like an improvisation. Suddenly, this calm mood is interrupted by a scherzo-like middle section, which is fast and rather coquettish. It rushes toward a climax only to return to the slow movement of the beginning, which brings the movement to a very calm and quiet end.

The final movement is another fast and furious dialogue between the soloist and the ensemble with real virtuoso sections for both. It is akin to a classical rondo with the recurring section being a duet between the guitar and the percussion section, the guitar sometimes becoming a percussion instrument by knocking on the body of the instrument. Again, the main idea is the ever-relentless driving energy, which should make for a most exciting experience so as to make both performers and audience feel a bit exhausted.

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Scores & Parts

Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra - Solo Part with Piano Reduction

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Nicholas Goluses, Stephen Robinson, and Adam Holzman.
Composition Date 1994
Duration 00:21:00
Orchestration Solo Gtr.; 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 0 0; Timp. Perc. Str.
Premiere Commissioned and first performed by Nicholas Goluses, Stephen Robinson, and Adam Holzman, April 16, 1996, Orlando, Florida

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