The inspiration for the flute concerto was the life of Joan of Arc. She was born in 1412 in France during the “100 Year War” (1337-1453). From an early age, Joan was deeply committed to her Catholic faith. At age 12, she began to have visions that she believed was the voice of God commanding her to help restore the French nation. At age 17 she convinced the leader of France that she be given an army to fight the English. She led the French army to victories at Orleans, Patay and Troyes. Eventually she was captured by the Burgundian forces (allied with the English) and put on trial for witchcraft. On May 30, 1431, Joan, age 19, was burned at the stake. In 1920 she was made a saint of the Catholic Church. Joan of Arc embodied religious devotion with great bravery, loyalty and humility and her life helped change the course of European and French history.
The concerto has three separate movements. Thematic material is derived from the French composer Guillaurme Dufay. The first movement begins with all instruments in unison performing L’homme armé. The second movement begins with permutations of Dufay’s Iste Confessor.
The three movements depict major events in the short life of Joan of Arc.
Movement I: Age 12 – Village Girl and Visions
Movement II: Age 17-19 – Conflict and Capture
Movement III: Age 19 – Martyrdom
Parts: Piccolo, Flute 1+2, Oboe 1+2, Clarinet 1+2+3, Bass Clarinet, Eb Contra Alto Clarinet, Bassoon 1+2, Contra Bassoon, Alto Saxophone 1+2, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Trumpet 1+2+3, Horn 1+2+3+4, Trombone 1+2, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Double Bass, Synthesizer (Harp) (Optional), Piano, Timpani, Glockenspiel/Chimes, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Rainstick, Cymbals, Triangle, Bodhran, Finger Cymbals, Wind Chimes, Tambourine, Tam-Tam.