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Instrumentation: Solo Horn, Clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), Trumpet (player requires straight, cup, harmon and plunger mutes), Trombone (player requires straight and plunger mutes), Piano, Bass, Percussion (Whip, Tam-tam, Hi-hat, Suspended cymbal (brushes), Sand blocks, Snare Drum)

Duration: 12 mins approx.

Composer's Note

'... I began doing what came naturally to me... Instead of making myself write the book I ought to write, the novel that was expected of me, I conjured up the book I myself would have liked to read...'


Italo Calvino



With these words the concept of my piece was born; I wanted to have fun, writing a work that I myself would have liked to hear. Written for solo horn with a quasi Jazz line-up of clarinet, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and percussion, the piece is my embracing of the music namely Jazz that I listened to in my early teens.  What I have composed is a faux Jazz a nostalgic memory of the form, written instinctively closely combined with my interest in counterpoint and in the 'Classical', or to be more specific, 'Romantic' tradition.The horn enjoyed a high level of prominence in the nineteenth-century orchestra, but its qualities did not go completely unnoticed in the world of Jazz either, with Miles Davis employing horn players for some of his landmark recordings. In the more lyrical passages in my own piece I try to marry the two worlds, creating a form of extended Romanticism.


The Italian word-ending -accio (as supposed to the -ino of 'concertino' for example) refers often humorously to something that is ugly or unfortunate. I therefore felt that the title Concertaccio, both in terms of sound and meaning fitted my piece, for whilst I do not find it an ugly work, it is often rather tongue-in-cheek and possibly ever so slightly in bad taste!


Recording featuring Joseph Ryan (horn), Joy Boole (clarinets), Tristan Button (trumpet), Patrick Kenny (trombone), Barbara De Biasi (piano), Liz Faulkner (bass), Craig Apps (percussion)

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