DARK ORANGE CONCERTO, a Concerto for Viola and Winds (2005)  Op. 77

Opus number: Op. 77

Title: Dark Orange Concerto; a concerto for viola and winds

Instrumentation: Solo Viola, 2 Ob., 2 Bassoons, Eb Clarinet, 2 Bb Clarinets, Bb Bass Clarinet, 3 French Horns in F, and Double Bass.

Commissioned: Bill Drury for the Jordan Winds and violist Carol Rodland

Dedication: to Carol Rodland

Date written: October 2005

Length: ca. 20 minutes

Premiere performance: March 1, 2007, NEC’s Jordan Hall

Important subsequent performances:

Program notes: The title “Dark Orange Concerto” was borrowed from my teacher, Vincent Persichetti. His vivid and colorful description of the viola as having a “dark orange” sound became the central metaphor for my choice of instruments to play with (and against) the soloist in this concerto. The idea of writing a concerto for viola and wind ensemble was first suggested by Bill Drury. After hearing the wonderful violist Carol Rodland play an all twentieth-century program, I thought she would be the ideal soloist.

In order to have the soloist on a more equal footing with the ensemble, the decision was made early on to limit the number of players. Here the “wind orchestra” is made up of  2 oboes, 2 bassoons, an Eb clarinet, 2 Bb clarinets, a Bb bass clarinet, 3 French Horns in F, and a non-wind instrument, a double bass. Every effort was made to use wind instruments that would match the characteristic sound of the viola.

The work has a traditional three-movement design. The first movement’s opening and closing is an accompanied cadenza. These cadenzas enclose a sonata design that is mostly resolute in character. The second movement is lyrical, similar to an aria without words, and concludes with an unaccompanied solo for the viola. The third movement is upbeat and humorous with a prevailing and somewhat lopsided tango rhythm.

Reviews: (performances) (recordings)

Excerpt: Dark Orange Concerto(Coming soon!)