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Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble

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Karel Husa

Karel Husa

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General Info

Year: 1970
Duration: c. 15:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Associated Music Publishers
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $150.00;   |   Score Only (print) - $35.00


1. Maestoso – 3:12
2. Moderato Molto – 4:12
3. Allegro ma non troppo – 7:51


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone (optional)
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V

(percussion detail needed)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Karel Husa’s primary instrument as a young musician was the violin, yet it is his adeptness at writing music for percussion instruments that has become his trademark. In an interview with Frank Battisti, Husa describes his dilemma after an Ithaca College percussionist asked him what type of stick he intended the young man to use in a certain passage. “…I thought, I’d better learn more about these instruments. So I went to the band room at Cornell and spent two weeks with the percussion instruments and all the various mallets. As I tried to play them, I tried to produce different sounds. Those two weeks were like Liszt's visit to the monastery, because I learned so much. I got so interested in percussion that it became almost an obsession.” Surely all percussionists who have performed any of Husa’s music would concur with his success.

That success is nowhere more evident than in his Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble. This work was suggested by Larry Van Landingham, the percussion instructor at Baylor University. Donald McLaurin’s interviews with the composer reveal that “it was the percussion parts in Music for Prague 1968 which prompted [them] to ask me to write a Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble… This idea was accepted with enthusiasm, for it would be original and impressive to see and hear a percussion ensemble in front of the band.”

The actual commission came from the famous percussion company Ludwig Industries and occurred on February 7, 1972 in Waco, Texas. The performance featured Dr. Van Landingham (the names of the other four percussionists are not known), and was accompanied by the Baylor University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Gene C. Smith, conductor. The review in the Waco Journal the next day wrote: “the 17 minute concerto does have an aspect of planned cacophony at times but the operative word always is ‘planned’. There is a scheme in it, and most of its devices are musical as well as rhythmic, from the opening somber theme for chimes and vibraphone … to the prolonged finale beginning in the timpani and tam tams and bringing in the entire battery plus the massed ensemble for some genuinely pulsing stirring moments. It is a stirring work, ingeniously devised to display the entire percussion battery, individually, in combination and tutti…”

- Program Note from liner notes from Ithaca College CD Apotheosis of this Earth

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Iowa: VI
  • Kansas: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Massachusetts: VI
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Husa, K. [1973]. Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble [score]. Associated Music Publishers: New York.