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Walter Hartley: "Concerto for 23 Winds"

September 29, 2015

Concerto for 23 Winds

  1. Andante

  2. Vivace

  3. Lento

  4. Allegro molto

Walter S. Hartley

Born February 1, 1927 in Washington, D.C.

Instrumentation: orchestral wind section

Duration: 17 minutes

Composed: 1957


The work is in four movements roughly corresponding to those of the classical symphony or sonata in form, but it is textually more related to the style of the Baroque concert, being essentially a large chamber work in which different soloists and groups of soloists play in contrast with each other and with the group as a whole. The color contrasts between instruments and choirs of instruments are sometimes simultaneous, sometimes antiphonal; both homophony and polyphony are freely used. The first and last movements make the most use of the full ensemble; the second, a Scherzo, features the brass instruments, the slow third movement, the woodwinds. The harmonic style is freely tonal throughout. There is a certain three-note motif (ascending G-A-D) which is heard harmonically at the beginning and dominates the melodic material of the last three movements.

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