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Wind Ensemble

The Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble is the premier wind band at Virginia Tech. The ensemble performs across the state and region on tour and at music conferences, and regularly collaborates with Virginia Tech music faculty, visiting artists, non-music academic units on campus, and local businesses. Most recently, the band has performed in Carnegie Hall (2013, 2017), the Kennedy Center (2011), the Virginia Music Educators Conference (2009), and the 2018 CBDNA Southern Division Conference.

  Tōru Takemitsu - Concerto de chambre

In December 2017, the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble gave the United States première of Tōru Takemitsu's Concerto de chambre—the first time the piece has been played outside Japan.

Written and premiered in 1955, Concerto de chambre is an early experimental work that, for many years, was believed to be lost. It was re-discovered after Takemitsu's death and is the only piece Takemitsu ever wrote for a large, mixed group of woodwinds and brass (i.e. a wind ensemble). His other large, wind-only compositions are for brass choir: Garden Rain (1974) and Signals from Heaven: Two Antiphonal Fanfares (1987).

In 1948, seventeen-year-old Tōru Takemitsu was standing in a subway station in Tokyo, and noticed how the trains coming out of the underground tunnels created a rushing wind that, for him, had sound, movement, shape, and energy. This perception became, over the next five decades, one of the defining concepts of his musical compositions. The Chamber Concerto is an early work (1955) that illustrates Takemitsu’s understanding of what music is.

We may observe that in the title on his manuscript score, Takemitsu indicated, in French, that this concerto is “par 13 exécutants” (i.e. performers, not instruments). He was interested in a composite sound and, in creating that sound, showed the way to an art of sound that reached into the primordial past and yet opened the door to a new music not measured in sections, nor in barlines, nor by the line between dissonance and consonance, nor even the polarities of tone color.

Concerto de chambre was premiered on July 12, 1955 in Yamaha Hall, Tokyo on a Jikken Kobō (Experimental Workshop) concert by members of the NHK Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yūzō Toyama.

A recording of the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble performing Concerto de chambre is available here for free download.  

Project Producer - Jonathan Caldwell
Audio Engineers (Editing, Mixing, and Mastering) - Michael Dunston and Robert Armstrong
Recording Session Producer - Chad Reep

Conductor - Jonathan Caldwell
Flute 1 - Haley Blevins
Flute 2/Piccolo - Anne Kelly Newman
Oboe/English Horn - Stefan Povolny
B-flat Clarinet/E-flat Clarinet - Cassandra Hanson
Bass Clarinet - Sarah Clark
Bassoon - Delaney Snead
Contrabassoon [Sarrusophone] - Locke Meriwether
Alto Saxophone - Trevor McMillan
Trumpet 1 - Elizabeth Kania
Trumpet 2 - Chris Thomas
Horn 1 - Rachel Abbott
Horn 2 - Mary Catherine Stegall
Trombone - Joseph Tolley

Recorded on February 14, 2018 in the Moss Arts Center on the Virginia Tech campus.

Special thanks to Paul Steger, Tracy Cowden, Ruth Waalkes, and Doug Witney for their support of this project.

This recording was licensed and made available for free download through Schott Japan. In the United States, Concerto de chambre is available for rental through Schott Music.