Concerto
for guitar and orchestra

Maya Badian
Composer
Maya Badian
Composition Date: 1981
Duration: 00:16:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Orchestra with Soloist, Guitar(s)/Lute(s)

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Guitar ( Solo )
  • 1 x Full orchestra
Programme Note:
Quote from, “Maya Badian, Her Life and Her Music: A Privilege to Soar” by Popovici, Fred, published by Pro Ars Publications, Ottawa, Canada, 2010:
“The GUITAR CONCERTO by Maya Badian is unique in Romanian musical history, acknowledged as the first Guitar Concerto ever composed in Romania. Maria Livia Sao Marcos Fisch (1938-), a Brazilian virtuoso guitarist now living in Switzerland, commissioned this concerto to Maya Badian. The individual character of each of the three contrasting movements of Badian’s Guitar Concerto is clearly suggested by each movement’s title, I.- Moto perpetuo; II.- Aria;
III.- Marcia e Toccata. Movement I, Moto perpetuo. The ambiance for the first entrance of the guitar is established by a syncopated solo trumpet rhythmic figure and a trialogue between solo trumpet, horn, and trombone sustained by string pizzicati. The solo guitar then develops the opening idea with an accompaniment that gradually involves the full orchestra. The solo guitar part is set apart from the orchestra not only melodically but also harmonically, rhythmically, and by its tone colour variety and shifting registrations. The economic use of the initial material in the orchestral part makes use of diverse musical parameters and composition techniques to maintain the unity while leaving the solo guitar clear and unobstructed. A short and contrasting section, Cantabile, features only the guitar and a solo pizzicato double-bass, while the maracas and castanets provide timbre colour. The full orchestra, without solo guitar, concludes the first movement in a return to Tempo primo, presenting the material based on the initial rhythmic figure.

Regarding the solo guitar, it rests until the very last bar, when its chord laissez vibrer makes a bridge to the slow movement. Movement II, Aria. A song-like theme presented by guitar makes use of the full range of the instrument, from deep and resonant low notes to the extreme of the high register. The long-held phrases poetically wander into fantasia-like passages of great beauty. The tender harmonic support offered by the strings pulses beneath the solo guitar. The accompaniment continues with the development of the song-like theme. The solo guitar briefly returns to the opening mood before a long string passage closes the movement, perdendosi.

Andrée Laurier described this Aria as the “unforgettable second movement.” (Composing a home away from home. Maya Badian’s swift pen” by Andrée Laurier, The Canadian Composer, February 1989, p. 26). Movement III, Marcia e Toccata, features two rhythmic characteristics: binary (Marcia) and ternary (Toccata).

The opening Marcia, a caricature-like march, evokes special moods similar to those of German composer Kurt Weil. The brasses are again present to outline the melodic sense of the opening. Harmonic and sharp rhythmic motion precede the entrance of the solo guitar, which restates the opening march, accompanied by castanets, viola and violoncello soli. The full orchestra completes the March section ending before the solo violin performs a short phrase in a free form. This leads (subito attacca) to the final section, Toccata.

The final movement’s Toccata opens from afar, misterioso, with solo guitar and pizzicato double-bass in perpetual motion of eigth- notes in a ternary rhythm. Gradually, all the strings borrow this motive. While maintaining the rhythm, a dialogue begins between the solo guitar and different sections of the orchestra. At some points, binary-march references in the brass contrast with the flowing ternary rhythm in the strings. Percussion links together the differing rhythmic patterns. This dialogue’s development increases in intensity, using diminution, and rhythmic energy created by syncopated accents. This contrasts with the solo guitar cadenza that follows. The Concerto ends in a burst of energy tutti, reaching its conclusion in a brilliant flourish.”

Premiere Information:
7 November 1982, Busteni, Romania
Valentin Farkas, guitar; Ploiesti Symphony Orchestra; Horia Andreescu, conductor

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MI 1315 B136co
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Orchestra with Soloist, Guitar(s)/Lute(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • September 20, 1992
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score
    69 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
    Parts page count: 124
    16 parts
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
    1 solo part
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Guitar solo / 0000 / 2220 / timp / perc(2) / str
    Ms (photocopy); manuscript deposited in the Fonds Maya-Badian MUS 228, Music Division, Library and Archives Canada.
    Commissioned by: Maria Livia Sao Marcos Fisch, Brazilian guitarist
    Also available for guitar and piano

    I. Moto perpetuo -- II. Aria -- III. Marcia e toccata
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