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Frank Martin: Konzert

  • for harpsichord and small orchestra
  • 2 1 1 1 - 2 1 0 0 - str
  • Duration: 20’
  • Soloists:
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    clarinet in A
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    trumpet in C
    violin I(8)
    violin II(8)
  • Composer: Frank Martin
  • Dedication: Madame Isabelle Nef
  • Remarks: Study score available at Musikproduktion Höflich:

Work introduction

From the preface of the Repertoire Explorer Miniature Score:

The Concerto for harpsichord and small orchestra was composed in Amsterdam in 1951-52 as a commission for Isabelle Nef, to whom the work is dedicated. About the concerto Martin writes (in the posthumously published A propops de…: commentaires de Frank Martin sur ses œuvres, edited by Maria Martin in 1984): “I was staying at the North Sea when I began it, and the even rolling of the waves suggested to me the wavelike motion of the six eighth-notes that dominates the entire first section.” And to Peter Mieg, who was also considering writing a harpsichord concerto, he wrote: “I did it because it was to a certain degree ‘in the air’. I have pupils in Cologne who did so before me, and I am sure that there will be a new literature for this instrument, a literature that will in many respects be close to our experience. I am even surprised that this movement has taken so long to make itself known, since the harpsichord was resurrected quite a while ago for the rendering of Baroque music.”

TheConcerto for harpsichord and small orchestra was first performed at the ISCM Festival in Venice on 14 September 1952; Isabelle Nef performed the solo part under the direction of Fernando Previtali.

Christoph Schlüren, 2004

Translation: Stephen Luttmann, 2004.

For the Repertoire Explorer Miniature Score please contact Musikproduktion Jürgen Höflich.


World première

Venedig (IT)
Fernando Previtali
Main soloists:
Isabelle Nef, cembalo

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