Repertoire Tip „Exotic Solo Concertos“
Uncommon Sounds and Instrumental Combinations

The concerto form has always been stamped by the relationship of solo and tutti. As bourgeois concert culture began to emerge towards the end of the 18th century, music lovers wanted more and more new attractions. As the size and number of concert halls increased in the 19th century, the concerto for solo instrument and orchestra took on ever greater importance. Virtuosi such as Liszt, Paganini and Clara Schumann were frenetically applauded. The solo concerto had already long been thriving from the desire to display the talent of one single artist, as well as from the exploration of the limits of an instrument. Virtuosi often exerted an influence on the construction of instruments or were inventors themselves, always in search of new sound resources.

The fascination with uncommon sounds and instrumental combinations continues unabated to this day, as can be seen in our selection. Next to Adriana Hölszky’s accordion concerto "High Way" and Siegfried Matthus’ timpani concerto "Der Wald", it also contains "GassenHauer mit NebelHorn", a concerto for theremin and orchestra by Steffen Schleiermacher. The traditional role relationships of solo and tutti are often negated in contemporary concertos: one example is Helmut Lachenmann’s "Harmonica", a piece for large orchestra and tuba solo. In "Zeichnungen", Isabel Mundry interweaves the sound of the string quartet with that of the orchestra. Martin Smolka also breaks with traditional listening patterns through the delicate dialogue of two tuba players in "Still Life with Tubas or Silent Hiding", and Hans Zender has his violoncello soloist play his concerto, "Bardo", with a round bow in order to explore multiple sounds on that instrument.