November (original Finnish title Marraskuu) was written for Ensemble Ambrosius and premiered in the Concertgebouw Brugge on 25 June 2004. In the following year, the piece was revised for the Euroring Arrangers Workshop with the Metropole Orchestra. This version was premiered on 20 November 2005 at the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep, Hilversum, the Netherlands by the Metropole Orchestra, conducted by Vince Mendoza.
The piece opens with a melancholic four-part canon which leads to rhythmically and harmonically tense middle section, including a virtiosic written-out solo passage for soprano saxophone, alto saxophone and guitar. An orchestral interlude builds up to a traditional solo jointly improvised by trumpet and trombone. After the solo, the thematic material from the beginning and middle sections are combined to create a contrapuntal climax.
for Big band (2005)
Soprano saxophone (in Bb)
Alto saxophone (in Eb) (doubling Soprano saxophone Bb)
Tenor saxophone (in Bb) (doubling Soprano saxophone in Bb)
Baritone saxophone (in Eb)
4 trumpets (in Bb; 4th doubling flugelhorn in Bb)
4 trombones (4th bass trombone)
for Metropole Orchestra (2005)
Oboe (doubling English Horn)
French Horn (in F)
Alto saxophone (in Eb)
Tenor saxophone (in Bb) (doubling soprano saxophone (in Bb))
Tenor saxophone (in Bb) (doubling flute)
Barytone saxophone (in Eb)
4 trumpets (in Bb)
2 percussion (mariba & vibraphone; glockespiel, gran cassa & gong)
Electric bass (5-stringed)
Olli Virtaperko stole the show
Olli Virtaperko’s November was at a level of its own in UMO’s concert by young Finnish big band composers. Frank Zappa-influenced November was dynamic, challencing yet catching with great ending… I’d predict Virtaperko to have a promising future ahead of him as a composer.
– Jukka Hauru, Helsingin Sanomat 26 November 2005