Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Piccolo Concerto by Lowell Liebermann (b.1961)

One day back in 1998 I was heading home for Thanksgiving with my best friend Jason. We were nearing the service plaza on the Thruway that I always get off at (Angola...it's fun! you get to walk on a pedestrian bridge over the road and it's fun to feel the bridge move a bit when the tractor trailers go under it!). We turned on one of the Classical music stations and there was this absolutely amazing piece playing. We were both so totally enthralled that we drove right past the service plaza entrance and then had to turn around (I was NOT missing Angola...it was tradition darnitall!). Luckily for us, the rest of our driving around kept us in the basic vicinity so we didn't lose the station and we were able to get to the end of the piece and find out what this glorious piece of music was.

As it turned out, it was the Piccolo Concerto by Lowell Liebermann. The work, which was commissioned by the National Flute Association, was written in 1996 and first performed by Jan Gippo. The first recording of the work was put out by James Galway (the recording we heard on the radio that day) in 1998. It is GLORIOUS. The opening of it is simply amazing and beautiful. Seriously. I know a lot of people want to avoid all modern music but don't avoid listening to this work. The first movement alone is worth listening to.

One reviewer said of it "This delightful work was full of eerie beauty and rollicking good humor." I think that sums it up entirely too well.

You can listen to James Galway perform the work on youtube.

I. Andante comodo (Seriously...if you listen to ANYTHING here listen to this movement)
II. Adagio: Part 1 | Part 2 (I could only find this divided into two parts -- a holdover from when youtube limited the amount of time on videos much more than they do now!)
III. Presto

Now this last movement is a lot of fun. See if you can recognize a couple quotations from very famous works that he used in the middle of it. If you're really into Classical music you may even sense one of them coming up long before he comes to it. It makes me laugh every time!

No comments:

Post a Comment