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Sample: opening stanza of Mvt 2See details ➔
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Originally conceived as a work for violin and piano, it quickly became apparent that the work was better suited for a solo violin and orchestra. Concertino rather than Concerto, is a better title, given the scale and technical demands of this work.
Probably the biggest challenges are the unusual time signatures in the first two movements of respectively five crotchet beats and eleven semiquavers (3+3+3+2). Sections of the third movement have a Rumba style rhythm with 3+3+2 semiquavers in the bar.
The solo violin opens the first movement playing 'pizzicato' (plucked strings) against rising and falling phrases played by woodwind instruments. The string section does not play until the middle section of the movement. The final section of the movement is virtually a reversal of the first section.
The second movement has a gentle, rocking rhythm played by the strings and the harp against a flowing melodic solo part. The music becomes unsettled in the middle part of the movement reaching a strong climatic point before it returning to the quiet mode of the opening section. The finale is based on the contrasting melodies. The Concertino finishes with three small cadenzas featuring the solo violin followed by a final rousing tutti section.
Dedicated to George Emeleus