Monday, November 04, 2013

Unusual concertos [58]: Great Highland Bagpipe

Before the purge of end 2008, one of the most popular topics of this blog was "Unusual concertos", classical concertos for all kinds of instruments and orchestra. I have decided to revive this, aiming for less familiar composers in general. In its original incarnation, I came to 40 different concertante instruments - realizing 50+ this time.

The fifty-eighth concerto deals with the Great Highland Bagpipe (image source), the instrument commonly referred to as bagpipe(s). One of the more unlikely instruments to be associated with classical music, I know of only one composer of note who used it in one of his scores: Peter Maxwell Davies in his Orkney wedding, with sunrise. We have to look to less common names to find an actual concerto for this instrument. Kevin Weed is one of them (actually the only one I found) - his 20 minutes concerto with the composer as soloist and an unanmed orchestra/conductor can be found on YouTube (see link at the end). Predictably perhaps, it has not reached the CD medium yet.

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