Concerto for Flute, Cello, and Orchestra: Romeo and Juliet


Concerto for Flute, Cello, and Orchestra: Romeo and Juliet


Concerto for Flute, Cello, and Orchestra (2005)

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  • Premiere: 16 January 2005  / Palace Theater, Albany, New York / Jeffrey Khaner, flute; Sara Sant'Ambrogio, cello / The Albany Symphony Orchestra / David Alan Miller
  • Instrumentation: 
  • Duration: 28'
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Romeo & Juliet: Second Movement

Program note

The very young lovers in Shakespeare’s play inspired the character of the soloists’ interaction with one another and with the world at large — in this case, the orchestra. Although the sequence of emotional states during the course of the concerto as a whole corresponds to the general shape of the play, it is not a piece of program music or an opera. Rather, it is a meditation on the mystery of love, abstract in its particulars, as music must be, which lets music express what perhaps cannot be truly conveyed by other means — especially words.

While the classic concerto paradigm is one of competing soloists and their associated sound worlds, the soloists in this piece aren’t competing with one another or the orchestra, they are striving to join together harmoniously in a discordant world. There are two primary tonal centers, which correspond to the two lovers: the flute soloist’s home key is E major, and the cello soloist’s home key is B flat major. Between these two homes exists an “imperfect” larger world that consists of a combination of the two keys into an artificial scale (A – B flat – C sharp – D – E flat – F sharp – G). Naturally, the relative minor keys of the lovers (C sharp minor, and G minor) figure prominently as well.

The double concerto was premiered on 16 January 2005 at the Palace Theater in Albany, New York. Soloists Jeffrey Khaner (flute) and Sara Sant'Ambrogio (cello) were joined by the Albany Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Music Director David Alan Miller.