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Piccolo Concerto, Op. 80, No. 2 (2017)

For Sopranino Recorder and Crumhorn Trio

Live Performance:

Joe Clark, sopranino recorder; Annie Sawamura, alto crumhorn; Cynsy Plant, tenor crumhorn; Jordan Moore, bass crumhorn

Duration: 7'

  1. I. Cry
  2. II. Sky
  3. III. Spry

Instrumentation:

  • Sopranino Recorder in F (A-440)
  • Alto Crumhorn in G (A-415)
  • Tenor Crumhorn in C (A-415)
  • Bass Crumhorn in G (A-415)

Program Notes:

At the beginning of the fall semester of my fifth year, I was browsing Bret Newton's Bandestration site and ran across the section on crumhorns. I knew very little about crumhorns so, my curiosity piqued, I went to the Eastman Instrument Office and checked some out. Along with some friends from the music education department, we formed a crumhorn quartet in short order (also switching to recorders and ocarinas ad libitum). I wanted to compose some pieces involving crumhorns for quite a while, but other events (to wit, student teaching and applying to graduate programs) prevented me for a while. Now that I have time over spring break, my ideas have finally reached fruition.

One of my ideas was to write some sort of piece for broken consort. The only issue is that our crumhorns are pitched at A-415 and our recorders are pitched at A-440. This piece represents an attempt to meld the two pitch spaces. The title, "Piccolo Concerto" is mostly intended literally ("Small Concerto", following the "Kleine Symphonie" for crumhorn quartet, Op. 80, No. 1), but has the added bonus of referencing Vivaldi's concertos that were orginally written for high recorders but are performed on piccolo in modern times.

The piece was premiered on May 4, 2017 by the Rentet (Joe Clark, Annie Sawamura, Cynsy Plant, and Jordan Moore) on a recital at the Eastman School of Music.