Pedro Eustache: Suite Concertante for World Woodwinds and Orchestra

May 4, 2010

Ethnic woodwind guru and composer Pedro Eustache (“ayoo-STAH-chay”) has posted videos on YouTube of most of his recent work Suite Concertante for World Woodwinds and Orchestra, featuring himself as soloist playing a staggering 21 instruments over the course of 12 movements (45 minutes).

The instruments are mostly ethnic flutes and reeds, though a few modern Western instruments appear as well. Since some of the instruments are Eustache’s own unique creations or modifications [link auto-plays music], it would seem he doesn’t intend for anyone beside himself to perform this piece. Certainly few woodwind players would have the ability to do so, nor to obtain or make the unusual and customized instruments required.

Here are the movements currently available on YouTube.

Mvts. 1-2: Three different bansuri (Indian bamboo flutes).

Mvt. 3: “Oryxophone,” neys (Middle Eastern flutes), mezoued (Tunisian reed instrument), and flute fitted with ney headjoint

Mvt. 4: Duduk (Armenian reed instrument), blul (Armenian flute)

Mvts. 6-7: Soprano saxophone, flute

Mvts. 8-9: Quenacho (South American flute), “double tarka” (customized version of South American flute)

Mvt. 10: Fjitchu (South American flute)

The missing movements include shvis (Armenian flutes), fujara (Slovakian flute), didgeridoo (Australian lip-reed), and apparently vocal percussion. There is some additional information on Eustache’s website and in a Spanish-language concert program. Even if your Spanish isn’t good, it’s worth looking through the program to find the picture of Eustache surrounded by his instruments.

Elsewhere on this website, I list more compositions involving performance on multiple woodwind instruments.

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