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Concerto for Flute

By Robert Simpson

Solo Flute and Orchestra - Advanced
Composed by Robert Simpson (1921-1997). Important addition to the flute literatue. Serious Concert. Full Score. With Standard Notation. Published by Winwood Music (WO.0097SC).

Item Number: WO.0097SC

The Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Simpson's first concerted work, was composed for Susan Milan in 1989. The orchestra employed is a small one (seven wind instruments, two horns, timpani, and strings) yet each instrument plays an important role. In his choice of forces Simpson has been able to provide a great variety of tone-colours and textures: ranging from tightly focused instrumental dialogues to intimate chamber groupings and the full orchestral tutti. Played continuously, the work is cast in three main sections. The opening allegretto, itself divided into two sections, leads to a central scherzo-like Allegro non troppo in energetic triple metre. Here the wind instruments make brief interjections and the timpani have a short dialogue with the soloist. The closing section of the work, an adagio, begins with strings alone. They introduce a chorale-like passage joined, in turn, by the flute soloist and the woodwind. After a passage accompanied by divided cellos the soloist is instructed to sit with the string soloists. The final section of the concerto is, then, essentially chamber music: flute and string quartet senza diretore, molto calmo. Throughout the work the soloist is called upon to produce a wide range of skills, not least the ability to adapt from the role of virtuoso soloist to an integral voice in an intimate chamber group within the same work.

  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 5

    Harry Sdraulig
    Melbourne, Australia
    Difficulty Level:
  • February 09, 2009 Wonderful

    This piece is a great concerto. I must admit to not being a flute player, and thus am probably not able to appreciate the difficulties of the running solo part. Undoubtedly one of Simpson's most moving later scores - a luminous allegretto is followed by a dancing and vigorous scherzo...

    with some wonderful dialogue before a final, heartfelt adagio of the greatest sensitivity, with some wonderful string writing reminicent of the adagio of the Ninth Symphony closes the work. The final few pages of the work are scored for flute and string quartet alone without conductor - this passage is breathtakingly beautiful in a totally non-sentimental and deep way. Anyone who appreciates works like Simpson's 11th symphony will not be disappointed. It is woeful that this concerto has not been recorded thus far and is therefore difficult to access, but those who do hear it are in for something special.

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