This unique Concerto for Highland Bagpipe and Orchestra possesses a charm that delights listeners and musicians. This three movement, classically conceived work is the only such full concerto for Scottish Highland Bagpipes of which we know. It is approximately 15 min. long and is in three movements:
1) Prologue – 3/4 Largo, 6/8 March – Moderato
2) Air – 3/4 Andante – cadenza-piobaireachd
3) Jig – 9/8 Allegro.
Orchestration: 1+1,2,2,2 4230 3perc., str.
1 piccolo, 1 flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, 3 percussion, strings.
Kevin Weed is glad to assist as performer or coach for this unique piece.
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Play the videos below and follow the music with the view-able samples below.
Brazil, 2018. Manfredo Schmeidt conducts the Orquestra Sinfônica da UCS,
University of Caxias Symphony. With cadenza and longer 3rd movement:
Premiere concert in 1989, Garden Grove Symphony, Ed Peterson
conducting, with no cadenza, and a shorter 3rd movement :
The following are older copies. Some mistakes have been corrected, and changes made.0-Bagpipes-Kevin-Weed-Bagpipe-Concerto-B4-2
When asked by the Garden Grove Symphony to compose a piece for bagpipes and orchestra, I immediately knew the combination would work. But the question was, what kind of music? I didn’t want simply a medley of familiar tunes, nor something crazy, avant garde. I decided to find styles that fit both the pipes’ and orchestra’s natural inclinations.
I settled on a three-movement concerto form. The first movement starting with a slow introduction, Prologue, settles into a 6/8 march. The 6/8 march with its dotted rhythms is a common Scottish bagpipe tune, and orchestras would be familiar with the style from the first movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony. You will notice I cork off the drones in the middle. My drones play a Bb. Corking them silences them so as not to intrude on different harmonies.
The second movement is played entirely without drones, to help the overall tone be a bit softer, which is a challenge with the great highland bagpipe. It is a 3/4 time air, or waltz. Both pipes and orchestras play lots of tunes like this. I hummed to my young daughter, Rebecca, or Becky, while writing it. So even now we call it “Becky’s Lullaby” and I recorded a piano version of it for the father/daughter dance at Becky’s wedding. In this movement, the melody goes beyond a simple song and two melodies are joined in the end.
Before the third movement you will hear an extended solo on the pipes, a sort of cadenza. This I wrote as a short piobaireachd, the classical form of pipe music. It is perhaps the shortest one ever composed, being a theme and variations on just two measures of music.
This cadenza leads directly into the third movement. It is a slip jig, in 9/8 time. I had written the basic tune several years before, but found it is much better with the harmonies in the orchestra. In the end you will hear the Air from the 2nd movement mixed with the Slip Jig melody.