Concerto No. 2 for Guitar, Strings and Winds

Leonard Handler

Rental
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The Concerto No. 2 for Guitar, Strings and Winds was completed in the spring of 2011. It was my desire to write a guitar concerto that could be played by both a full chamber orchestra or also by a smaller chamber ensemble (string quintet and woodwind quintet), which would give the soloist more options for performances. Overall, I envisioned the guitar?s role in the concerto to be both a solo instrument and also act as an integral part of the ensemble ? another orchestra instrument, if you will.

I wanted the overall tenor of the Concerto to be one of calmness and serenity. It is very ?American? in feel, and written in a traditional melodic, tonal/modal and contrapuntal style. The first movement, which is called ?Fantasy for F.J.? is named as such because I felt that the opening theme played by the bassoon was very Haydnesque in feel. The movement?s thematic material is shared and juggled by all the instruments, and throughout all three movements I tried to find special moments to pair the guitar with all the instruments. In reality, the entire Concerto is a series of duets and trios between the guitar and orchestra.

The second movement, ?Catskill Sunday,? reflects my lifelong love for the Catskill Mountains, rivers, towns and people. I tried to encapsulate the memories of my many lovely, calm summer Sunday afternoons spent fishing and hiking in those mellow hills and valleys. The movement is a wink to Aaron Copland whose music I grew up with. The prominent feature of the movement is the slow, measured guitar tremolo section that repeats several times in juxtaposition with both the strings and winds. The slow, even tremolo is deceptively difficult for the guitarist.

The ?Allegretto? third movement is more robust and virtuosic in nature, making use of traditional rasqueado techniques in the guitar part. Brief, contrapuntal pairings of guitar, winds and strings alternate with building runs in the guitar leading up to a long cadenza which reflects themes from all three movements. The movement ends emphatically with a series of rasqueado and rolled arpeggios in the guitar.

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Additional Information

Composition Date 2011
Duration 00:25:00
Orchestration Solo Guit.; 1 1 1 1 - 1 0 0 0; Str.

Details

I A Fantasy for FJ
II A Catskill Sunday
III Allegretto

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