Violin Concerto - for violin and strings
2003, 2006, 2012, 2016
duration 35 minutes

I. Appassionato - II. Dolce, Semplice - III. Volante - Furioso

"Completed" in November 2003, this work was originally a two movement romanza for solo violin with strings. In this form (after three revisions) it was performed and recorded by Irina Borissova and the Mainzer Virtuosi. In 2016 conductor Lavard Skou Larsen suggested that a finale might be added to create a full concerto. He and the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss Am Rhein subsequently commissioned this and the premiere was given in November 2016 by Fenella Humphreys.

Both the original movements and the new one drew inspiration from poems by Stefan George - Dies ist ein Lied für dich allein and Gib ein Lied mir weider . At the premiere these (with movements still listed separately) were used as titles but the work now simply stands as a Violin Concerto. With its purely string orchestra it has more the feel of a concertante, or perhaps Baroque concerto than a full-blown Romantic one. It would suit a player/conductor.

The solo part is something of a lone voice struggling to be heard amidst the emotional cross-currents of the outer movements.

The first movement is stormy, and highly charged, but with a calm centre, and even a few moments of dance. in the main the soloist cries out its song amidst the hurly burly. The second offers a serene and song-like oasis, though there is a deep regret and melancholy here rather than inner tranquility. It rises towards to a plateau of redemption/resolution before fading away. The new finale returns to the swirling emotions of the first. Cascades of string figures plunge repeatedly downward. Two lyrical, stiller episodes intervene but the piece ends in an ecstatic torrent.

Dies ist ein Lied
Für dich allein:
Von kindischem Wähnen
Von frommen Tränen...
Durch Morgengärten klingt es
Ein leichtbeschwingtes.
Nur dir allein
Möcht es ein Lied
Das rühre sein.

[Stefan George]

Gib ein Lied mir wieder
Im klaren Tone deiner Freudentage -
Du weißt es ja: mir wich der Friede,
Und meine Hand ist zag.

Wo dunkle Seelen sinnen,
Erscheinen Bilder, seltne, hohe,
Doch fehlt das leuchtende Erinnern,
Die Farbe hell und froh.

Wo sieche Seelen reden,
Da lindern schmeichelhafte Töne,
Da ist die Stimme tief und edel,
Doch nicht zum Sang so schön

Scoring: Solo violin, strings (suggest



solo violin

violin I violin II viola cello double bass

Live (unedited) performance by Fenella Humphreys with Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss Am Rhein under Lavard Skou Larsen at the Zeughaus, Nuess, November 2016. (broadcast by RPT in Portugal)

1. Appassionato
2. Dolce - semplice
3. Volante - furioso

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