The Violin Concerto was written for the soloist Leila Josefowicz, and emerged naturally from her musical personality, style and technique.
The Concerto, which doesn’t follow any standard form, is cast in two movements of equal length. After its first entry on a long-held high note, at the very beginning, the solo violin weaves an ecstatic, flowing song punctuated by elaborate arabesques, its elegiac, inward-turning theme of wide-spread intervals and sensuous chromaticism spinning ever onwards as if free-wheeling.
Amidst constantly evolving moods and shifting tempos, graduated dynamics and an inner propulsion, the material alternates between slow deliberation and sequences of sudden, rapid movement, with some frantic, airborne scurrying and edgy flourishes. This first movement is marked out by four significantly descriptive markings (Sognando – Scherzando – Sostenuto – Scorrevole) but there are subtle variations within these divisions. And while there’s no identical repetition in the second movement it gradually metamorphoses from darker instrumental hues and an aching tolling into fast material derived from the first movement as the Concerto, with a final flight of invention, reaches a sudden ecstatic conclusion.