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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

Concerto for Flute (1989)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
15 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)

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Programme Note
Joan Tower Concerto for Flute (1989)
Composer note:

Concerto for Flute (1989) was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra and dedicated to Carol Wincenc who gave its Carnegie Hall premiere in 1989 with Hugh Wolff conducting.

The 15-minute work starts with the low register of the flute alone before the orchestra comes. As the flute gets more active, the chamber-size orchestra provides competitive tension which is matched phrase by phrase as the piece heads relentlessly towards to a finale where the "music blows wide open" (Wincenc) in a virtuosic display of flute scales and arpeggios.

—Joan Tower

  • Ensemble
    Louisville Orchestra
    Carol Wincenc, flute
    Max Bragado Darman
    D'note Classics:
Ms. Tower’s new Flute Concerto was Sunday’s centerpiece. It is a one-movement work that makes a musical virtue of its technical cleverness. The flute’s natural reticence in big formats is a problem met head on, not simply avoided by separating solo instrument from orchestra. Indeed, low registers set against finely separated ensemble colors give the flute a strong and intelligible identity. Voices from within the orchestra often double the solo line. Elsewhere, its racing, skittering passages explore and expand on the instrument’s natural trilling character. There is an honest sentiment and energy here.
Bernard Holland, The New York Times,31/01/1990
Tower's FLUTE CONCERTO also revels in dramatic contrasts. The writing reflects the solo instrument's shining, agile character in music of lyrical and dark appeal, lilting ardor and fleet virtuosity.
Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer,01/01/0001
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