Title: Concerto Grosso
Year Completed: 2012
Duration: 15 mins
Instrumentation: Orchestra and four soloists (flute, clarinet, violin & percussion) 2222/4231/timp+3/str (with four soloists)
Credits: Commissioned by the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, Dinuk Wijeratne, Music Director
Premiere: April 27, 2013, Denton Hall, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS: Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra

Purchase/Rent: Canadian Music Centre

In a Concerto Grosso (a form developed in the baroque era) a group of soloists, called the concertino, alternates material with the larger ensemble, the ripieno. The soloists in this work are flute, clarinet, violin and mallet percussion (marimba and vibraphone). This combination of woodwinds, strings and percussion is essentially a paired down version of the entire orchestra (minus brass). In this work the solo concertino acts as one unit. It is rare to hear the individual soloists for an extended period. A kaleidoscope of colours, sustained chords, and melody notes, are continuously re-orchestrated amongst the four soloists.

There are three movements. Movement I. Allegro Grazioso, is through-composed. It is not in a traditional form, like sonata. The longer melodic lines are interwoven among the four soloists. Movement II. Andante Moderato, is a lamentation using the technique of a chaconne, a repeated chord progression that continues throughout. It is orchestrated for muted strings, muted trombones, and the concertino ensemble. Descending figurations, traditionally employed in a lament, are given to the solo instruments. Movement III. Vivace, concludes the concerto in a traditional upbeat fashion featuring jaunty rhythmic patterns. Material is more obviously passed between the soloists and the ensemble. The harmonic language features open fifths and split thirds (major/minor) combinations.


4 soloists:

Solo Flute
Solo Clarinet (A & Bb)
Solo Violin
Solo Percussion (Marimba / Vibraphone)

2 Flutes / 2 Oboes / 2 Clarinets in Bb / 2 Bassoons
4 Horns in F / 2 Trumpets in Bb / 2 Tenor Trombones / 1 Bass Trombone / 1 Tuba
Timpani / 3 Percussion
Orchestral Strings

derek charke concerto grosso