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Violin concerto : violin with orchestra

by Mark Grandison (2008)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Richard Gill, Shaun-Lee Chen, Queensland Orchestra from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists

Selected works by AMC represented artists


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


Selected works by AMC represented artists : vol 7

Library shelf no. CD 2190 [Available for loan]

Violin concerto


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Violin concerto / Mark Grandison.

Library shelf no. 784.272186/GRA 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

This concerto's primary concern is with the evolving relationships and trajectories between soloist and orchestra. Their interactions range widely. Variously the two forces are locked in an uneasy unison, a canonic race, an adversarial clash between distinctly contrasting themes, and even isolation of the soloist. Having navigated these divergent configurations, the work eventually sees the antagonists rally in a traditional texture of melody with complementary accompaniment.

There are only three 'themes' employed in the work, each consisting of a unique sequence of six or seven pitches, without any associated rhythmic profiles. The same two themes are exclusively and simultaneously employed in the outer movements, with a third theme being the basis for the middle movement.

The tonal centre for virtually the whole work is D, with variation arising from subtle inflections in the modes used. The first movement commences with the bright Lydian mode, and a succession of darkening 'tonal terraces' ensue, each one inflected a note flatter. Thus the modes cycle through Lydian, Ionian, Mixolydian, Dorian, and Aeolian. The sombre Phrygian mode is reached by the second movement. The third movement reverses the order of modes in the first movement, winding its way back to the Lydian mode. Thus a tonal symmetry reflects the symmetry of the thematic scheme. What emerges then, is a musical landscape in which a descent through increasingly shadowy terrain into a central dark vale leads to an ascent back to the sunny summits.

Work Details

Year: 2008

Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players), harp, solo violin, strings.

Duration: 32 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — For concert soloist and professional symphony orchestra

Contents note: I. Parallel paths -- II. Arc of shadows -- III. Pursuit.

Commission note: Commissioned by Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge for performance by Ars Musica Australis.

First performance: by Richard Gill, Shaun-Lee Chen, Queensland Orchestra at The Queensland Orchestra (The Queensland Symphony Orchestra Studios) on 13 Mar 2009

Revised 2010


Program note: Mark Grandison's "Violin concerto on D"
program note by the composer

Resonate article: Gill, TQO and Grandison's concerto by Hannah Reardon-Smith


Performances of this work

13 Mar 2009: at The Queensland Orchestra (The Queensland Symphony Orchestra Studios). Featuring Richard Gill, Shaun-Lee Chen, Queensland Orchestra.

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