Timpani Concerto

When I began to compose my own music (as a self-taught teen), I started with choral settings, but I also conceived the ambition to write a convincing concerto for timpani. In 1990, after running my own Baroque chamber orchestra for a decade, I realized I could now improvise fluently in that style.

I decided to create a quasi-Vivaldi-style concerto for timpani and strings—as a warm-up etude before writing my “modern” one. The Concerto con Timpani was the result. It was great fun to write, and is even more fun to play. I have learned that several young virtuosi have recently taken a run at the career of solo timpanist (which I once dreamed of). This first concerto is for them and their peers.

“I received the Concerto con Timpani today, put it up on the stand, and read through it–and I was grinning the entire time. . . At the concert the concerto was well received.”  Greg Candy, timpanist, who played the US premiere with the Farmington Valley (NY) Symphony under John Eeels.

ListenScoreTitleScoringDur.Year
view scoreConcerto con Timpani (Battaglia)timpani soli (6-7), strings, harpsichord continuo14'1992
Order This»Concerto, early 18th-century concertato style. May use hand-tuned drums. Fun to play and hear. Score is style-edited, with Baroque performance guidelines. (Written under the nom de plume G. F. Salomon.)Notes»
I. Intrada, Grave/ allegro3'40
Ouverture (slow/fast/slow). Regal fanfare start/end. Rhythmic passages alternating between showy, busy soloist and ripieno, flashy drumming near the end.
II. Largo sostenuto5'35
Slow, elegant, affect of mourning
III. Presto3'40
Rattling fast movement with longer solo passages, flashy wrap-up, echo ending