Double Concerto

by Max Savikangas


for Trumpet, Double Bass and Symphony Orchestra

Empty sheet

Max Savikangas

Double Concerto

Music Finland


Program note

In 2012 Finnish conductor talent Santtu-Matias Rouvali gave the premiere of my orchestral piece Whisked Whistle (2011) at the Helsinki Music Centre with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. I was very satisfied with the performance and especially with Santtu’s interpretation, so when he called me later and asked if I would be interested in composing a new double concerto for trumpet, bouble bass and orchestra to be premiered in Australia and then again in Finland under his baton I didn’t have to hesitate.

Tonight might be the the Finnish premiere of a first ever double concerto for trumpet, double bass and orchestra, at least I have not been able to find information of an earlier double concerto for this instrumentation. At first this solo duo might seem a bit odd, but actually it offers some unique musical possibilities. The trumpet is the leader and highest voice in the brass choir, while the double bass is the foundation of the strings, which opens an interesting connection and also a contradiction between the soloists and the symphony orchestra. I have also discovered that the contrasting characters of these two instruments provides a fruitful starting point for composing.

Improvisation has a special meaning to me. I believe that improvisation can release the full energy of a musician, allowing her or him to be truly free and express his or her personality in a very direct and intuitive way - “to allow me to be me” as James Morrison put it when I met him in Finland after his wonderful multi-instrumental jazz concert with the Marian Petrescu Trio. Improvisation may also produce music which is played only once and cannot be repeated live exactly. Intergrated into an orchestral score which is mostly notated in every detail, improvisational elements might also help the piece to stay fresh and interesting over several performances.

My new Double Concerto is putting all these ideas together. It is partly fully written out and partly relies on the improvisational skills and imagination of the renowned soloists Aki Välimäki and Petri Mäkiharju, the members of the Tampere Filharmonic Orchestra and even Santtu-Matias Rouvali as the conductor. The flowing interchange between these two ways of making music is in focus.

- Max Savikangas


3333 4331 12 1 1, pno, ssax, asax, tsax, barsax, trp+fhn solo, db solo, str [pic, ehn, bcl, cbsn]


Works for Soloist(s) and Orchestra


The Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Brisbane, Australia, July 17, 2015.

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by The Queensland Symphony Orchestra, The Queensland Music Festival and The Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra.

PDF for promotional use


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