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Work of the Week – Bernard Rands: Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra


The Cleveland Orchestra performs the world premiere of Bernard Rands’s Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra on 27 November 2015 with soloist Robert Walters. Lionel Bringuier leads the premiere, which takes place at Severance Hall. Rands’s Concerto was commissioned by the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music for Robert Walters and The Cleveland Orchestra. Walters has taught English horn at Oberlin since 2006 and has been solo English horn with The Cleveland Orchestra since 2004.

Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra is a three movement work with titles suggesting their character and form: Fantasia, Aubade, and Hommage. The third and final movement is a tribute to Debussy whose music has had a strong influence on Rands throughout his career. Debussy’s “Jeux” is a notable subtext to this movement.

Though no quotations from Debussy’s music are used, the spirit of “Jeux” is evoked – sometimes quite overtly and at other times rather mysteriously. – Bernard Rands

Debussy’s “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” and Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique” accompany Rands’s Concerto on the program. Subsequent performances take place on 28 and 29 November 2015.

Bernard Rands – profile
Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra – information
The Cleveland Orchestra