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Violin Concerto


Although I have often thought of writing a Violin Concerto, it was 2011 when I first felt the time was right. Then in 2012 I climbed the beautiful Sugarloaf Mountain near Abergavenny, full of ideas for the piece; it would be predominantly lyrical and melodic but also quite florid, with the violin ducking and weaving, rather like the insects and birds of the Welsh hills and valleys. However while I wanted to express my feelings of joy at being in this incredible place there would also be room for sadness and melancholy, emotions never far from the surface of my music. So it was that the concerto now grew and grew, and before long it became apparent that this was to be a major opus.

The first movement is about peace but also exhilaration; the violin part is expressive and there is much interplay between soloist and orchestra. The music returns frequently to a chord derived from the opening phrase, a series of rising thirds; this chord, almost static, brings to mind the ancient and immovable mountains of Wales The second, slow, movement is quiet and nocturnal; you may imagine a town or village where moonlight catches wisps of smoke rising from chimneys and behind their curtains restless people toss and turn.

The third movement is full of life, and would be a moto perpetuo were it not for some more romantic music in the middle. Towards the very end the opening theme from the first movement is recalled, albeit in a far more spirited mode. The concerto is dedicated to Catherine Handley, superb musician, great friend, and lover of all things Welsh.

from notes by Christopher Gunning © 2020


Gunning: Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto & Birdflight
Studio Master: SIGCD621Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

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