This short work grew out of the middle movement. Originally composed for violin and strings, “Memorial” was first performed in a version for oboe and strings by the chamber orchestra of St Mary’s College, Auckland. It was suggested I might like to expand this into a larger work for oboe and strings, given there was a fine young oboe player in the school.
The completed concertino consists of a traditional three movement form: fast-slow-fast. The first movement has elements of Baroque period writing in it, including a short fugal section based on the opening melody. The second movement, “Memorial”, is a slow and poignant movement written at a time when New Zealand was experiencing a number of tragedies – the Pike River mining tragedy and the Christchurch earthquakes. The final movement, “Hoe-Down”, is a complete contrast, being a purely fun and rhythmic piece of writing suggesting the music of the old time western USA.