Concerto for Large Wind Ensemble - Pentagram was commissioned by James Gourlay with support from the Norwegian Composers Fund for RNCM Wind Orchestra and I have dedicated it to him. 

It was first performed as a part of the BASBWE Concerfernce in 2012 by RNCM Wind Orchestra conducted by Clark Rundell.


1. Call and Awakening
2. Ritual I
3. De Profundis
4. Ritual II
5. Call and Conclusion


Concerto for Large Wind Ensemble was mainly composed the autumn of 2001. Like most artist, I also was influenced by the horrible terror attacks on the USA. Especially the central movement.

The five movements create a symmetric pattern with the third movement, De Profundis, as the central movement.This movement contains two contrasting elements: a powerful and mighty tuba-quartet and a Bach-chorale Ach Gott, erhör mein seufzen und wehklagen (BWV 254) (Oh God, hear my sigh and complain of grieve).

The chorale is played very softly so what we mainly hear is the four tubas (two basses and two euphoniums) and material derived from the tuba-music that occurs in other parts.

In the second movement (Ritual I) the attraction point is a duet between Marimba and Xylophone and a drum part that keep playing a simple pattern. The short notes played by Wood Wind and Brass are derived from two different rhythmic and harmonic patterns that only meets occasionally.

The fourth movement (Ritual II) I use the same material as the second movement, but I tell a completely different story. However, the two movements is meant to be to sides of the same case.

The first movement is slow music (Call and Awakening). A trumpet plays a figure that is repeated in english horn and in two echo-parts (Clarinet and Oboe). The music grows towards a short fanfare passage for full brass section and Timpani/Percussion. This is followed by soft, murmuring music before the solo clarinet comes through and ends the movement.

In the fifth movement (Call and Conclusion) I completed the idea about symmetry. After a short tutti passage of fanfare like music, I again use a solo clarinet. But this time it has a much bigger and challenging role. After a cadenza the clarinet playes the notes that ended the first movement. What follows is some reworked material from the beginning of the first movement (basically in retrograde), until the music fades away.

Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen