L'Assiuolo Caprese

For the last 20 years music for brass instruments has been a dominating part of my output as a composer. When I was asked to compose a "concerto grosso" for brass quintet and orchestra I decided to make it a kind of retrospective look on the music I so far have composed for these shining instruments. Thus you may find - especially in the five cadenzas - quotes from "Shazam" for trumpet solo, "Basta" for trombone solo, the solo cadenzas from my concertos for French horn and trumpet respectively but also some variations from "Escalations" for brass quintet.

The first parts of the concerto I composed on island Capri where I spent a month on a scholarship from the Swedish San Michele Foundation. In the evenings in Dr. Axel Munthe's garden I heard a strange flute. Always the same pitch: e-flat. It turned out to be a small owl, an "assiuolo". I inserted its singing in my work and its name was used for the title. The concerto is, however, not dedicated to the owl but to its far more polytonal colleagues in the Stockholm Chamber Brass, a group which - in spite of its name - is a Nordic ensemble with one Danish, one Finnish and three Swedish members.

Folke Rabe