Afro Concerto – Version B (1982)

Basic Information
Japanese アフロ・コンチェルト ー ヴァージョンB
German Afro Concerto – Version B
Opus 050 (B)
Year 1982
Category Orchestra/Concerto
Duration 20 min.
Instruments perc+mba, orch
Score information
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Description by the Composer

«As indicated by its title. this concerto was composed under the powerful inspiration of African traditional music, in particular the magical musical world invoked by incessant repetition. To create a distinctive acoustic space, the percussionists make use of several African hide-covered membranophones and an African keyboard instrument known as the balafon with a simple scale which is thought to be the prototype of the marimba. The acoustic structure located at the core of this work employs many fragments taken from the traditional music of the Senufo and Pygmy tribes. These fragments are incessantly repeated their tonal and melodic structures being varied by the soloists and the orchestra as the piece progresses. The content of this concerto is thus closely bound up with non-European and African elements.

«The work exists in two versions. Version A being scored for two soloists (marimba and percussion) and Version B for a single soloist.

«The first broadcast performance of the work, which was commissioned by the NHK, in Version A was given by the NHK Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Hiroyuki Iwaki in August 1982, with the soloists Kazunori Momose (percussion) and Takiko Yamaguchi (marimba). The first concert performance in Version B was given at U-Port in Tokyo in January 1985 by the New Japan Philiharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Michiyoshi Inoue, with the soloist as Sumire Yoshihara.»

Maki Ishii