Concerto for piano and orchestra

Year of composition
Scored for
for piano and orchestra
Georg Friedrich Haas
3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1 – perc(3), str(14 12 10 8 6)
Instrumentation details

1st flute
2nd flute
3rd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe (+c.a)
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
3rd clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon (+cbsn)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
1st percussion(3)
2nd percussion(3)
3rd percussion(2)
violin I (1st desk)
violin I (2nd desk)
violin I (3rd desk)
violin I (4th desk)
violin I (5th desk)
violin I (6th desk)
violin I (7th desk)
violin II (1st desk)
violin II (2nd desk)
violin II (3rd desk)
violin II (4th desk)
violin II (5th desk)
violin II (6th desk)
viola (1st desk)
viola (2nd desk)
viola (3rd desk)
viola (4th desk)
viola (5th desk)
violoncello (1st desk)
violoncello (2nd desk)
violoncello (3rd desk)
violoncello (4th desk)
contrabass (1st desk)
contrabass (2nd desk)
contrabass (3rd desk)

Commissioned by

Kompositionsauftrag von basel sinfonietta, Philharmonie Luxembourg und Wien Modern


World Premiere

Location: Musikverein, Großer Saal Wien / Austria
Date: 07.11.2007
Orchestra: ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
Main soloists: Thomas Larcher, pno

Work introduction

The concerto form fascinates me, much to my own surprise. My first work in the genre was my Violin Concerto, in which I very deliberately and precisely composed a contrast between and individual and a collective, whereby it is especially appropriate that the solo instrument is also in the orchestra (multiplied by 30), thus already founding the opposition of individual and group in the orchestration alone.

On the other hand, the piano is an instrument which is fundamentally set apart from the orchestra. Here, I wish to formulate s personal affinity with or aversion to the piano; I was once a pianist in the past and I believe I became a composer because too much was lacking at the piano. Every point of concentration in my music is impossible on the piano: microtonality, Klangfarbe, pitch clashes and slow dynamic developments – so I thought it would be fascinating to use the very instrument which was somehow foreign to the entirety. My first piano concerto (premiered in 1996 in the Konzerthaus) was entitled Fremde Welten [“Foreign Worlds”]; I hope that that strange peculiarity of sound will be recognisable again in this new piano concerto.

There will be moments in which the orchestra plays microtones, surges of Klangfarben and dynamics while the soloist juxtaposes an entirely different, pianistic world. And then there is something which has always fascinated me about the piano – something overused by poor pianists, i.e. the damper pedal. Thus it is a major aspect of this work to set a sonic occurrence in motion and then simply let it resonate. Pitches begin as piano sounds; they linger first in the piano before roving to the orchestra, where they begin to live – as beautiful as the lingering sound of the piano is, it is actually a dead echo; it is there, but one cannot influence it anymore, and one can only listen to it as it gradually disappears. It was that aspect which intrigued me.

© Georg Friedrich Haas
Translation © 2012 Grant Chorley

Ensembles that have played this work

ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Basel Sinfonietta
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks