- Orchestral/Large Orchestra
First written in 1974, revised in 2004
"In 1974 my wife and I spent the summer in Baden Baden at a house used as a summer residence by Brahms where a little over a century earlier Brahms had been working on his German Requiem. It was during my stay there that my violin and cello concerto were planned and the cello concerto was very largely written.
The Cello Concerto is a variation form in reverse, in that it only reveals its source material in the last movement of the three and even then rather elusively. For not only a motif nor a melodic line is heard but an entire movement from Brahms’ German Requiem is incorporated into the fabric of this finale, passing as if beyond clouds which occasionally obscure or clear to allow an uninhibited view.
The first movement is a symphonic piece transforming elements of the Brahms. The second a light and swift scherzo. I’ve tried to achieve a balanced musical partnership between soloist and orchestra avoiding cadenzas and other excessive gestures."
The Cello Concerto is dedicated to Raphael Wallfisch, who gave the work its first BBC broadcast performance with the BBC Northern Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Brian Wright, in March 1979.