Concerto Piccolo

For solo piccolo and orchestra. / / T 2P / harp / strings
Duration approx 8 minutes.
Composed late 2007.

Concerto Piccolo was written for Kate Prouty, piccoloist with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and was premiered in March 2008.

The piccolo is an instrument that rarely gets to display the full range of its qualities. It is almost always used as a brilliant high-register instrument, adding a touch of sparkle and sometimes shrillness to even the fullest orchestral tutti passages. Its more expressive capabilities are almost totally ignored, as is the uniquely pale tone color of its lower register. Given the opportunity to write a work featuring the piccolo as a solo instrument, I decided to make an effort to exploit all its capabilities, beginning with the less familiar ones. Accordingly, the work begins with an extended lyrical passage in the instruments low range. Of course, the brilliant high register is not neglected.

The work is not properly a concerto, being in only one relatively short movement divided into a slow and a fast section. Perhaps a more accurate title would have been Introduction and Allegro, or something like it. But I couldn’t resist the pun inherent in “Concerto Piccolo:” read one way, it implies a concerto for the piccolo, but literally translates to “small concerto.”

The recording below is taken from the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra’s premiere in March 2008, with Kate Prouty as soloist and David Bowden conducting.

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