The violin concerto was first performed in a concert in Waltham Forest in March 1989 with the the late Keith Gurry, a long serving member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra as violin soloist.
Of the three movements, the first is the most substantial. It contains six sections and takes the listener on a journey through different moods. These sections are drawn together by a syncopated rhythmic motif. The second movement (Largo) follows without a break. The melodic and harmonic material is based on a note-row and following a trumpet solo the violin returns with an extended melodic figure that is related to music found in my violin sonata. After a great crescendo to climax, the music starts to die away. It ends with an extended coda that introduces new material but concludes with the soloist repeating the melody of the earlier trumpet solo. The finale is a lively tarantella with a structure loosely based on that of the Baroque concerto. The soloist is involved in two main solo episodes as well as playing as an integral part to the ‘tutti’. There is a brief reference to the first movement after the first solo episode before the music drives to a strong, rhythmic finish.
The concerto has undergone two revisions. Most of these have been in the last movement and have been applied to the orchestration. However, the solo part has remained the same.