Alto Flute Concerto composed by Peter Senchuk for Alto flute and Flute ensemble
“In the Alto Flute Concerto, I wanted to explore the many capabilities of the alto flute, beyond what we typically associate with the instrument. What comes first to everyon'e mind when thinking of the alto flute, is the rich, lyrical quality (or “cool” jazz sound) that it can so wonderfully produce. However, the alto flute, especially in the hands of an outstanding musician like Peter Sheridan, who this concerto was composed for, is capable of so much more.
The concerto is set in a traditional three movement form (fast-slow-fast), and is non-programmatic. The overall structure is somewhat of an arch, with the spirited first and third movements surrounding the slow and lyrical second movement. It aims to explore all the capabilities of the alto flute from slow lyrical melodies to virtuosic technical passages.
The first movement, begins with aggressive sounding block chords in the ensemble over which the alto flute begins a rapid, undulating theme. As the movement unfolds, this thematic material is passed between the alto flute and the ensemble, until it is interrupted by a middle section with an explosive and rhythmic motif. The opening material then returns to clsoe the movement.
The second movement, subtitled “Poem,” is a slow, lyrical mvoement that allows the soloist ample space to show off expressive playing. The ensemble beings with floating chords that form a “static” canvas for the soloist to introduce the contemplative melody. As the movement continues, the motion in the ensemble increases to intertwine with the soloist.
The third movement acts as a bookend with the opening movement. It begins with a rapid sixteenth note figure in the ensemble that sets in motion the material that is used for the rest of the moevement. The soloist and ensemble trade rhythmic phrases throughout, as the movement builds to a powerful ending.” – Peter Senchuk
Scored for solo alto flute, 4 C flutes, 2 alto flutes, bass flute, contrabass flute