Lowell Liebermann (1961 - ) is an American composer known for his solo, chamber, orchestral, and operatic works. Lieberman is a graduate of the Julliard School were he studied with David Diamond and Vincent Persichetti. Liebermann currently teaches composition Mannes College in New York City.
Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra was commissioned by the National Flute Association.
The first thing to point in the third movement of this concerto is the use of musical quotes. A two of the major quotes are the first movement of Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony as well as the first movement of Mozart’s 40th Symphony. These quotes take the form of distractions from the primary themes of the movement.
The soloist presents one of the primary themes at the: 40 mark of this video. The first quote (Beethoven) comes in at the 1:52. After this quote is interrupted. A Mozart quote is developed and assembled leading up to its appearance at 2:23. Seconds after this quote we soon return to familiar material.
The quote from Mozart’s 40th Symphony becomes and more frequent until its longest appearance at 3:45, lasting 6 seconds.
As far as harmony is concerned, this movement works to blend the harmonic language used by Lowell Liebermann with that of the quotations from other composers. Not to mention the cadence at the end.
I would like to compare the Liebermann concerto to Aaron Jay Kernis’ (1963 - ) Air for Violin and Orchestra from 1995.
For the most part, this Air presents diatonic contrast from that of the Liebermann Concerto. While Air does have its chromatic moments, it is no way similar to the chromatic moments in Lieberman.
The use of quotes is not necessarily part of Liebermann’s style (such as diatonic quotes), but the use of polytonality plays a part in part in Lieberman's style unlike the music of Aaron Jay Kernis.
What I like most about this work this movement in particular is how musical quotes are used sort of comically. They are presented almost identically to their respected original works and they go on just long enough to make the audience aware of them. Another thing I like is that Liebermann doesn’t hide them.
"Aaron Jay Kernis: Air for Violin and Orchestra" YouTube video, 12:00. Posted by "J P Rafferty" upload April 1, 2014. video.
"Concerto pour piccolo de Lowel Liebermann, 3° mouvement" YouTube video, 4:16. Posted by "chitarracatanzaro" upload June 12, 2012. video.