Concerto for Percussion (Schwantner)

From Wind Repertory Project
Joseph Schwantner

Joseph Schwantner (trans. Andrew Boysen, Jr.)

General Info

Year: 1994 / 1997
Duration: c. 30:10
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Schott Helicon Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $59.00


1. Con forza – 5:25
2. Misterioso – 11:10
3. Ritmico con brio – 10:30


Full Score
Solo Percussion
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
C Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Tree
  • Brake Drum
  • Claves
  • Glockenspiel
  • Japanese Wind Chimes
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Suspended Cymbals (2)
  • Tam-tam
  • Timbales (2)
  • Tom-toms (4)
  • Triangles (2)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Blocks (4)

Soloist requires:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos (2)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales (2-octave set plus a 1-octave set)
  • Marimba (amplified)
  • Rute (bundle of twigs)
  • Shekere (beaded gourd)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tenor Drum
  • Timbales
  • Tom-toms (2)
  • Triangles (2)
  • Vibraphone
  • Water Gong
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Concerto, cast in a three-movement arch-like design, opens with the soloist stationed near the other percussionists. A collaborative relationship develops between the soloist and his or her colleagues in an expanded ensemble that also includes the piano and the harp. The marimba and drums are most prominently featured in this movement.

Throughout the second movement, In Memoriam, a slow, dark-hued elegy, the soloist is placed center stage while the other percussionists remain silent. Two principal ideas appear: a pair of recurrent ringing sonorities played on the vibraphone and an insistent “heartbeat” motif articulated on the bass drum.

The second movement leads directly into the fast and rhythmic third movement, which begins with an improvisatory section for the soloist. While continuing to improvise, the soloist walks back to the initial performance position of the first movement. As in that movement, the amplified marimba is again prominently featured. The final section, drawn from the drum motives of the first movement, proceeds to a high-energy cadenza and conclusion.

The score bears the dedication “To the memory of Stephen Albert,” and was commissioned by Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York. The premiere was given by the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Slatkin conducting. Christopher Lamb was the soloist. The wind transcription was done by Andrew Boysen Jr.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer