Srings (at least two Contrabasses with low C extension required)
The Concerto is unabashedly tonal, melodic and full of contrasts. The thought of writing it (his concerto) goes back decades. (In the meantime I wrote concerti for other string instruments: Bass and Viola, in addition to other instruments: Flute, Piano, Accordion, Trumpet, Voice and Bassoon. Some elements of this concerto echo the original ideas, some going back to 1965).
The first movement, “Ballade”, is moderate in tempo, poetic and lyrical. It opens up with a solo clarinet in partnership with a delicate sound of Glass Wind Chimes. Various instruments from the orchestra join the solo Violin in chamber settings at various times. At approximately half way point there is a sudden change to a rather aggressive brass episode which lasts only for a moment, giving way to the lyrical and slowly unfolding poetic music.
The second movement “Caprice”, is played attacca and it brings a sudden contrast to the music – it is relentless and fast and it is challenging for the soloist.
The third movement “Berceuse”, opens up with a short introduction for the winds, building on the clarinet solo which opened the whole composition. Although slow and persistent rhythmically it brings a touch of humor to the
work and it is rather relaxing after the tumultuous second movement.
Without a break (attacca) the movement rolls into a cadenza and then into the final forth movement “Burlesque”. Light-hearted, at times aggressive, and at other times full of humor and vigor, the movement sums up the whole composition and it leads to a rather buoyant ending.
The Violin Concerto uses a rather large orchestra, with a considerable number of percussion instruments throughout including Glass Wind Chimes, Flexatone, Xylophone, Vibraphone and others. Two players and a timpanist are needed to execute the percussion parts.
The concerto was written for Yosuke Kawasaki and it was his artistry that I kept in mind while writing it.