for Flute and Small Orchestra (2011)
by Ron Hannah


Duration: about 18 minutes

     What more could a composer ask than that an admired performer ask him to write a concerto? That person was Bernard Blary, and he became a large part of the musical scene I found when I moved back to British Columbia in 2009. That scene sparked a remarkable burst of creativity in me, and such a pleasure it was to sing in a Symphony Chorus once again! Just look down the list of my works and note all the pieces written in 2010 and beyond. After several years of wandering the world and thus not being able to write a great deal of music, this oppportunity was very welcome.

to this and many other
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     Sadly, nothing much has come of it, at least not where this concerto is concerned. It, and a couple of other pieces I wrote for the local orchestra and chorus, have never been performed or even considered as far as I can tell. Still, the impetus had been there, and now several years later, and living in Europe, it continues. My wife, singer/director Andrea Mellis and I have brought Bernard here to Austria in an effort to help him find the recognition he so deserves, and a conductor in Armenia(!) is interested too. I wonder if we could take Bernard there to premiere it.

     You can hear the entire work (created in Logic Pro) by clicking the box. Those mp3 files should convey the overall sound I imagined, as well as the energy and excitement of the work. The first and second movements are by turns dramatic and heartwrenching, if I have done my job properly. They are even partially 12-tone, though the tone rows I chose are not terribly atonal and allow for some rich romantic harmonies. The second movement has a very nice solo for the French Horn, and it was my idea that Bernard's wife Susannah, who is a fine horn player, would indeed play it. Maybe one day that will happen... The third movement, the most demanding for the soloist, is actually a re-working of the final movement of my Cello Sonata of 1973, a brilliant tarantella in my own personal style of not-so-dissonant tonality, requiring endurance and agility on the part of the player.

     I wrote a short cadenza for the flute at the end of movement 3, but Bernard has written a more fully developed one, which I think is delightful, if demanding. Coming from a flute performer of his stature however, I know it to be fully idiomatic for the instrument I have incorporated it, with gratitude, into the score and the sound file.

     A sample score is downloadable by clicking in the lower box or through the Canadian Music Centre. Similarly the solo and orchestra parts are available through the CMC or by sending me an email request, my only proviso being that I be kept informed of all performances so that I can keep this website up-to-date.

     The orchestra is as follows:

  • 1 piccolo
  • 1 oboe
  • 1 clarinet
  • 1 bassoon
  • 1 french horn
  • 1 trumpet
  • 1 trombone
  • 1 percussionist
  • strings