BAROQUE CONCERTO (2010)  Op. 107

Opus number:  op. 107

Title: Baroque Concerto

Instrumentation: Alto Recorder, Harpsichord, ‘Cello soloists and String Orchestra

Written for: Aldo Abreu, Paul Cienniwa, and Sam Ou

Date written: 2010

Length: twenty minutes

Premiere performance: January 23, 2011, Aldo Abreu, recorder, Paul Cienniwa, harpsichordist; Sam Ou, cellist, Larry Bell, conductor. Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory.

Subsequent Performances: June 13, 2011, Aldo Abreu, recorder: Paul Cienniwa, harpsichords; and Sam Ou, cellist; Larry Bell, conductor. Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Concert Series, First Church Boston

Program notes: Aldo Abreu once approached me about writing a concerto for recorder. He first played my solo Caprice no. 3. With harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa and cellist Sam Ou Aldo later played my trio, Serenade no. 2. All three players are known as specialists in the performance of Baroque music. I was so inspired by the trio’s playing that, in the summer of 2010, I wrote a triple concerto featuring the three performers.

My Baroque Concerto is modeled on the form and instrumentation of the concerto grosso of the early eighteenth century. Here the concertino (the group of soloists) consists of recorder, harpsichord, and violoncello; the ripieno (the full group) is a string orchestra. The movements are in the traditional order, fast-slow-fast. The first movement opens slowly in the manner of a French overture. It is followed by a moderately fast fugue. The most unusual formal characteristic of the last movement, by Baroque standards, is a recall of the slow second movement towards the end of the finale. On the whole, the Baroque Concerto is a light-spirited work with quirkiness of character, of wit and surprise.