Concerto for Contrabassoon and Orchestra

This concerto was conceived for the redesigned Contrabassoon by Guntram Wolf, the Contraforte.  I had just received my own Wolf Bassoon and wanted to show Herr Wolf a modicum of gratitude for my wonderful instrument.

The work is based on the Peruvian folk songm “El Condo Pasa.”  At the time, I was performing a wide variety of South American orchestral music.  The vivacity of the melodies and rhythms was intoxicating.  There was a pure simplicity in them.  I wanted to recapture some of that in this piece.  Yet, I knew it was for the Contrabassoon, the utter antithesis of singable melodies.

The Contrabassoon concerti that had been written are almost all in a hyper-modern style and can only be accessed by performers of the highest caliber.  My concerto, while still technically demanding, I feel is more accessible.  The biggest challenge that the work presents is the expanded range found on the Contraforte.  The range for the soloist is just shy of four octaves (from A0 to G-sharp4).

Instrumentation

  • Scored for 3 Flutes (3rd=Piccolo and Alto Flute), 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 A Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 2 Bassoons, 3 B-flat Trumpets, 2 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, Marimba, Crotales, Vibraphone, 2 Chimes, Celesta, Harp, Mandolin, Strings
  • Solo Contrabassoon (Contraforte)

A potential performance is scheduled for sometime in 2016

Buy the sheet music here.

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