for violin & orchestra (1977)
Composer Facsimile Edition, 30 minutes
“dark, angular…the rhapsodic quality the title promises…” (The Berkshire Eagle)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1977) is in three movements. The first, also performed separately as a single movement entitled Rhapsody, was premiered at Williams College by the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra under Ron Feldman’s direction with Tim Baker, violinist. (The other two movements have not been performed.)
Tense and restless, the first movement begins with an introduction followed by three sections separated by transitions and a cadenza. Of the three main sections after the opening, the first is the richest in terms of material, containing the rest of the movement in embryo. The cadenza attempts to follow an early tradition of cadenza writing, exploring the expressive range of the violin rather than its technical potential. The conclusion is short and intense, based primarily on the double-dotted motive from the beginning which appears even at the moment of cadence in greatly augmented form.
Radically different from the outer movements, the slow second movement is for a smaller orchestra that omits the brass section. It is characterized by descending gestures that arch downward, expressing a sombre, almost mournful quality. Although sectional divisions are less obvious here than in the other movements, there is a central portion full of trills that is somewhat livelier than the opening .
Like the first movement, the finale is in three large sections: a fast and rythmic opening, an improvisational and rather coy central section, and a propulsive conclusion.
See score sample below.
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