Concert for Piano and Orchestra



Category: Musical composition
Dated: Stony Point, 1958 (1957-1958)
Instrumentation: Solo for piano; Solos for violins 1, 2 and 3; Solos for violas 1 and 2; Solo for cello; Solo for double bass; Solo for flute (also alto flute and piccolo); Solo for B flat clarinet; Solo for bassoon (also baritone saxophone); Solo for B flat trumpet (also trumpet in E flat, F, D, C); Solo for trombone; Solo for B flat tuba (also in F); Part for conductor
Duration: Indeterminate
Premiere and performer(s): May 15, 1958 in the Town Hall in New York City. Performance by David Tudor, piano, with an ensemble conducted by Merce Cunningham
Dedicated to: Elaine de Kooning
Choreography: Merce Cunningham: Antic Meet (1958)
Published: Edition Peters 6705 © 1960 by Henmar Press.
Manuscript: Part for viola 2 (printed part with holographic annotations in pencil - 16 p.); Parts for conductor, violins 1, 2, 3, violas 1, 2, violoncello, tuba, clarinet, flute, bassoon, double bass and trombone (holograph in ink - 172 p.); Parts for conductor (printed parts with holographic annotations in pencil and 3 holographic realizations in ink and pencil - 2+7 p.); Part for conductor and realization (printed part with holographic annotations in pencil and manuscript (realization) in ink by an unidentified hand - 2+1 p.); 2 Parts for conductor (printed part with holographic annotations in pencil and holographic part in pencil with typescript on verso - 2+2 p.); Rejected part for clarinet and bass clarinet (holograph in pencil - 9 lv.); Part for bassoon solo (holograph in pencil - 2 p.); Part for flute solo (holograph in pencil - 2 p.); Part for tuba solo (holograph in pencil - 1 p.); Sketches for rejected part for violin 4 (holograph in pencil - 4 p.); Sketches for rejected part for violin 5 (holograph in pencil - 1 p.); Sketches for rejected part for violin 6 (holograph in pencil - 8 p.); Notes and instructions concerning duplication for publication (typescript, some leaves with holographic annotations, signed, in ink - 10 lv.); Sketches for clarinet part (holograph in pencil and ink - 9 lv.); Notes and sketches (manuscript notebook - 90 p.), all in New York Public Library.
Part for piano (holograph - 66 lv.) in Northwestern University Music Library, Evanston, Illinois.


The Concert has no overall score, but all parts are written out in detail. A performance of the Concert may include all of the instruments, but amy also be performed as a solo, duet, trio or any combination of the given instruments, resulting in a change of title (e.g. solo for piano or Concert for piano, voice and 2 violins, in case it is combined with a Solo for Voice.)
The notation of all orchestral parts uses a system where space is relative to time. The amount of time is determined by the musician and later, during the performance, altered by the conductor who has his or her own part and acts like a living chronometer.
Notes are of 3 sizes. This may refer to duration or amplitude or both, the interpretation being determined by the performer. All of these solos involve as many playing techniques as possible.
The part for pianist is an aggregate of 84 different kinds of notations, written on 63 pages and composed using 84 different compositional techniques. The pianist may play the material in whole or in part, choosing any notations, elements or parts and playing them in any order.
The composing means involved chance operations, as well as the observation of imperfections in the paper upon which the music was written.
The concert may be performed alone, or with Solo for Voice 1, Solo for Voice 2, Fontana Mix, Aria, Indeterminacy, Song Books and other related indeterminate pieces such as Variations I and Variations II.