Australian composer James Ledger

Line Drawing (concerto for recorder and strings)
2005
18 mins
solo rec(bass, tenor, treble, descant, sopranino and 'G' Ganassi)–strings (6.5.4.3.1)

Premiere: 26 October 2005
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Genevieve Lacey, recorders
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Dene Olding, conductor

Play sample



In art, a line drawing retains a lot of empty space. The analogy in music would be spaces of silence. Accordingly, this concerto contains many instances of “blank canvas”. It is minimally and sparsely scored for recorder soloist (playing a variety of instruments) and small orchestra of strings. The title also seemed apt as the premiere was in the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

Formally, this concerto is in one movement, although this can be dissected into two halves. After a slow beginning, the first half evolves into frenetic and virtuosic music that contains most of the fireworks for the soloist. The second section is anguished and sombre, exploiting the ghostly human quality of the low pitched recorders. Unlike most concertos, however and particularly recorder concertos, Line Drawing doesn’t ever fully recover from this despair and ends on an air of melancholy.

Line Drawing was commissioned by Symphony Australia for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and written for the recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey. Genevieve was extremely helpful and generous during the creation of Line Drawing and I’m grateful to her for all her support and encouragement.




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