The first movement opens with the soloist presenting a theme based on the intervals of a minor third and perfect fourth. This establishes the modal flavour of this and the concluding movement, which is also based on a version of this motif. The first movement is a series of solo episodes and refrains from the orchestra, and includes a cadenza for the soloist; in the fourth the musical texture gradually builds, until the soloistic episodes of the first movement reoccur in the work’s coda, this time shared between soloist and various other instruments. The second movement is a lively scherzo featuring a duet between solo violin and timpani, punctuated by pizzicato strings and woodwind. In the adagio the violin solo ascends over muted strings; later joined by cantabile lines of woodwind and brass, the music adopts a freely modulating tonality.
The piece was given its first performance by these performers conducted by Joel Bolton in the ‘Sounds of New Zealand’ concert held at the Nelson School of Music in September 2006. The event was largely organised by the orchestra’s leader, Charlotte van Asch.