Concerto for Timpani and Band (Actor)

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Lee Actor

General Info

Year: 2007
Duration: c. 11:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Polygames
Cost: Score and Parts - $200.00   |   Score Only - $24.00


Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra (Actor)
Concerto for Timpani and Band (Actor)
Concerto for Timpani and Piano (Actor)



flutes 1/2
oboes 1/2
Eb clarinet
Bb clarinets 1/2/3
bass clarinet
bassoons 1/2
alto sax 1/2
tenor sax
bari sax
Bb trumpets 1/2/3
horns 1/2/3/4
trombones 1/2/3
double bass
2 percussion

Program Notes

Concerto for Timpani and Band is an arrangement for concert band of Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra, which was commissioned by the Palo Alto Philharmonic, and written in May/June 2005. It is dedicated to timpani soloist Stuart Chafetz.

Concerto for Timpani and Band consists of a single movement divided into three distinct parts, with the two fast outer sections framing a slower middle section. The overall character of the piece is described by its initial tempo marking, “Playful and jazzy”. Though much of this work is in a light and humorous vein, my main aesthetic goals of clarity of expression and bold, dramatic style are still paramount. The harmonic scheme is tonally derived, though much of the main melodic and accompanying material (including a recurring walking bass line) is based on various octatonic scales. The resulting clashes between melodic material and the underlying triadic harmonies are exploited to produce what are effectively heard in context as “blue” notes, another allusion to jazz within the general symphonic style.

The short main motif at the beginning of the piece starts undergoing a process of development immediately following its initial statement. Rapid exchanges and surprising juxtapositions between the soloist and main ensemble, along with new material and further transformations that appear and recede quickly, produce a kaleidoscopic effect. The slower middle section has a very different character, at first somewhat misterioso, using fragments of transitional material from the first section and glissandi in the solo timpani, before settling into a lyrical recasting of the original motif in 7/8 time. This “groove” builds to a climax and transitions to the final section, which roughly recapitulates the material of the first section, but in reverse order. An extended cadenza for solo timpani follows, during the course of which the four drums are gradually retuned so that at last the soloist gets to state, emphatically, the original melodic motif. The band soon reenters for a final statement of the theme, and the piece is quickly brought to a close.

— Lee Actor




Finalist, 2014 American Prize in Orchestral Composition

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Concerto for Timpani and Band (Actor)
Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra (Actor)
Concerto for Timpani and Piano (Actor)

Additional Resources