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A work in 3 movements lasting about 20 minutes for flute & full wind orchestra. Comes with A4 size score. A unique addition to the repertoire.
Concerto for Flute & Wind Orchestra
I was approached by Lisa Garner, professor of flute at Texas Tech University to write a work for flute and wind orchestra whilst I was performing at the American National Flute Association conference in Las Vegas in 2003. She had assembled a consortium of 19 universities and the Brannen Cooper foundation to fund a 12 minute piece, in the event I decided to add a third movement and turn the work into a concerto.
I had never written anything for wind orchestra before and was quite daunted at the prospect of having thirty odd wind instruments supporting a flute. Impossible! was my initial reaction - the flute will never be heard - so I did some research and came across "Lindisfarne Rhapsody" written for the same combination in 1997 by Philip Sparke which worked very well. Before setting down to work I had a conversation with wind band guru Tim Reynish whilst we were both working on separate projects at the University of Kentucky. Being aware of my "jazz leanings" he ordered me to infuse some jazz into the project "as the wind orchestra repertoire needs it..." This was a red rag to a bull which gave me the green light to write something blue... I realised that hidden within the wind orchestra is a full big band, and, having written a lot for big band previously started to think of the orchestra as an augmented big band. Which of course it isn't, but as a starting point this put me more into my compositional comfort zone.
It was my intention to score as lightly as possible when accompanying the flute but also to give the whole band something to get their teeth into with large tutti sections interspersed. I was aware of the fact that the whole project was funded from the USA and consequently put in a few musical ideas associated with that country such as the fife and drum/country opening section in the first movement and the air force training routine sergeant/squad chant in the last movement (albeit within a 12-tone note row!).
A Review by The British Flute Society:
There are very few concertos for flute and wind orchestra, presumably because of the balance issues involved. Writing a successful work for that combination requires more than a small amount of thought and ability, and I have little doubt that such a huge undertaking is a big challenge for most composers.
Even more reason then to celebrate those who succeed. This is an outstanding piece of music. It is inspired: catchy, memorable and above all crafted with a high degree of skill. The scoring is careful to allow the solo line to penetrate the texture and Mower demonstrates his customary ability to use the instruments to their best effect. At times fast and wildly energetic at other times expressive and relaxed this is a piece which engages the senses. The wind orchestra is sometimes treated as a jazz band which shows the full range of potential of this instrumental grouping. The clarinet and saxophone writing stands out as being particularly interesting. The solo flute line is difficult but rewarding, and once again Mike Mower has used his individual approach to good effect. This is one piece that I would really love to get a chance to perform. Carla Rees
Here's a live video recording of Juliette Bausor playing all three movemens of the concerto with the Birmingham Symphonic Winds conducted by Keith Allen at the CBSO Hall in Birmingham (U.K.) on 05/11/05