A timpani concerto written by a master timpanist is a rarity, indeed, and Kraft's Concerto No. 1 has become the go-to solo for timpanists who get to step out front. William Kraft was principal timpanist of the LA Philharmonic for 18 of his 26 years with the orchestra, assistant conductor for 3 of those years, and after his retirement served as its composer-in-residence for four seasons. During this latter period, he composed Concerto No. 1 for soloist Thomas Akins and the Indianapolis Symphony. With its 5 timpani set, the use of a variety of beaters and gloves expands the soloist's palette. The second movement is dedicated to Kraft's mother, who died during its composition; it is subtitled "Poem for Timpani, Two String Orchestras, Celeste, and Percussion," and the strings are divided antiphonally. We are pleased to make this piano reduction available.
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