Igor Stravinsky wrote the Ebony Concerto in 1945 (finishing the score on December 1) for the Woody Herman band known as the First Herd.


Igor Stravinsky wrote the Ebony Concerto in 1945 (finishing the score on December 1) for the Woody Herman band known as the First Herd. It is one in a series of compositions commissioned by the bandleader/clarinetist featuring solo clarinet, and the score is dedicated to him. It was first performed on March 25, 1946 in Carnegie Hall in New York City, by Woody Herman's Band, conducted by Walter Hendl.


Stravinsky's engagement with jazz dates back to the closing years of the First World War, the major jazz-inspired works of that period being L'histoire du soldat, the Ragtime for eleven instruments, and the Piano-Rag-Music. Although traces of jazz elements, especially blues and boogie-woogie, can be found in his music throughout the 1920s and 1930s, it was only with the Ebony Concerto that Stravinsky once again incorporated features of jazz into a composition on a far-reaching scale.

The official blurb published with the score says that Stravinsky had been so impressed with recordings of the Herman band, such as "Bijou", "Goosey Gander", and "Caldonia", that, when asked, he agreed to write a piece for them with a solo clarinet part for Herman.

Once having accepted the commission, Stravinsky decided to create a jazz-based version of a concerto grosso, with a blues as the slow movement. If he had not previously heard them, he now listened to recordings of the Herman band, and went so far as to consult a saxophonist in order to learn how the instrument is fingered.

Herman found the solo part frighteningly difficult, and did not feel that Stravinsky had really adapted his writing to the jazz-band idiom. Instead, he "wrote pure Stravinsky", and the band did not feel at all comfortable with the score initially. "After the very first rehearsal, at which we were all so embarrassed we were nearly crying because nobody could read, he walked over and put his arm around me and said, 'Ah, what a beautiful family you have.'"


The Ebony Concerto is scored for solo clarinet in B♭ and a jazz band consisting of two alto saxophones in E♭, two tenor saxophones in B♭, baritone saxophone in E♭, three clarinets in B♭ (doubled by first and second alto and first tenor saxophone players), bass clarinet in B♭ (doubled by second tenor saxophone), horn in F, five trumpets in B♭, three trombones, piano, harp, guitar, double bass, and drum set.

The horn and harp were additions to the normal make-up of the Herman band. Stravinsky's original plan was to include an oboe as well, but this instrument did not survive into the final version of the score.


  1. Allegro moderato half note = 88
  2. Andante ♩= 84
  3. Moderato half note = 84. Con moto half note = 132

A typical performance lasts about eleven minutes.


The first movement is a sonata-allegro in B♭ major with a second subject in E♭ major. The second movement is a blues in F minor, turning to F major at the end. The finale is a theme and variations with a coda. The final variation, marked "Vivo", features the solo clarinet in one last virtuoso display.

Amongst Stravinsky's compositions using variation form, the concerto is unusual for several reasons. First, it employs this form as a finale. Second, the variation movement begins and ends in the same key (which would be normal for most composers, but not Stravinsky, who only adheres to this practice in one other composition, the Sonata for Two Pianos). Third, the second variation literally repeats the melodic theme, thus functioning as a sort of internal recapitulation and thereby suggesting a fusing of variation with rondo form.

斯特拉文斯基 - 乌木协奏曲
Composer: Stravinsky 1945
Duration: 0:09:00 ( Average )
Genre :Concerto


Update Time:2017-07-26 23:31