Concerto for Piccolo and Piano
- Staff Pick
This concerto shows off the piccolo really well. The first movement is in a melifluous 5/8 which, combined with the constantly moving accompaniment, creates a strangely alluring texture. There is a more rhythmic interjection and a beautiful cadenza. The dreamy Moderato is reminscent of Eric Satie and the closing Vivace has skittish rhythms which drive the musical momentum towards the end. The transcription of the orchestral parts to piano is skillful which is also very helpful. Harberg has achieved a concerto of real character without using extremes of register or a myriad of new techniques to add colour and it is extremely effective!
From the Publisher
Cast in three dramatically contrasting and colorful movements—an elegant opening reminiscent of a Classical Sonata-allegro, a tender lullaby, and a closing, raucous scherzo—Amanda Harberg's Concerto For Piccolo and Orchestra evolved from her piccolo sonata, following a commission from Philadelphia Orchestra piccoloist Erica Peel. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who led the premiere, praised the concerto as "an extraordinary addition” to the piccolo’s limited repertoire. He notes that "Amanda’s creativity and unique voice are on full display in this work. Simply in choosing to explore the piccolo’s middle and lower voices, she quietly shrugs off the mundane and explores the unexpected. This isn’t performative, or different for the sake of being different: Amanda simply sought to highlight a particular aspect of the piccolo’s beauty which is often overlooked. This spirit—of curiosity for curiosity’s sake, of seeking out hidden loveliness as opposed to what is immediately apparent—pervades Amanda’s work." Harberg's piccolo concerto will undoubtedly remain an important and beloved fixture of the instrument's repertoire for years to come, rewarding listeners with its individual blend of new and old.
Performance duration (approx): 15'00
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).