In the orchestra, as in the movies, there are stars and there are supporting players.
But every so often there’s a breakout role for an instrument that’s most often relegated to the background. And sometimes, a showpiece for an instrument that’s not part of the standard concert hall line-up to begin with.
Just consider the challenge of writing a concerto for the mandolin, tuba, saxophone, harmonica—or the 12-foot-long Swiss alphorn.
In this hour, we’ll hear how it’s done—and done amazingly well—by Vivaldi, Mozart, Villa-Lobos, Haydn, Vaughan Williams—and more.