Dai Fujikura: Flute Concerto - Ensemble Version WORLD PREMIERE

  • Season: 2016-17
  • Series: Mostly Mozart Festival
  • Premiere Region: World Premiere

Composer's Notes

This work was co-commissioned by Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, with soloist Claire Chase in mind. There are two versions of this concerto, one with orchestra and one with ensemble, with same solo part.

I knew that there will be two consecutive this relationship, so I focused on relationship between solo and orchestra: how the solo part would be related to the bigger orchestra and how the same part would also relate to the intimate ensemble. Each version should give a very different impression, even though the solo part is the same.

This concerto has 5 sections and the soloist uses 4 flutes: C flute, piccolo, contrabass flute and bass flute.

The beginning section is sort of an introduction, where solo flute will play the delicate variety of sounds with very limited pitches, while the orchestra / ensemble plays light tremolo, pizzicato, and the percussion section plays several handheld instruments, like the sea - shell chimes and so on - the kind of instruments you might find in toy shop, or hotel gift shop - to give "playful" feel. All are played extremely gently, while vibraphones (piano, for ensemble version) are playing pianissimo, acting as "reverb" of the whole sound.

There will be a part where the flute soloist plays while singing glissandi downwards, and the orchestra part with C flute, with a very vertical orchestra part. It gives the impression that impression that the flutist is playing into ring modulator and turning the nobs while playing.

For the piccolo section, I wanted to do something opposing the instrument. I wrote the piccolo part to be played a whole by in the lowest octave of the instrument, while the whole orchestra is pitched above the solo line - extremely quietly.

This concerto has a proper cadenza. The only slightly unusual thing is that this cadenza is played on contrabass flute.

The final section is like a chorale. Soloist plays on bass flute, and orchestra plays gentle, lyrical texture with microtones, which are derived from a series of distorted harmonics shared by the soloist and orchestra - like the ghost of the whole concerto.