(Written in 1998)
[Violin Concerto] Four movement concerto for violin and large orchestra.
Dedication: For Dominic Jewel.
Commissioned: by Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra and Harrow Young Musicians.
solo violin + pic.2.2.2.bclt.2 / 4.2.3.tba / 4timp.perc(2) / harp / vln1.vln2.vla.vlc.db.
[Perc – s.dr / b.dr / tamb / trgle / claves / t.blk / w.blk / c.cym / s.cym / tam-tam]
Timing: c. 35 mins.
The title of this piece comes from a passage in Book III of Milton’s Paradise Lost in which a meeting between Satan and Uriel is described. Milton calls Uriel “the sharpest-sighted spirit of all in heaven” and “Regent of the Sun”. Uriel (which means “flame of God” or “angel of light”) is one of the seven archangels of rabbinical angelology. In Muslim tradition, he is the angel of music, possessing the most melodious voice of all of God’s creatures, and is the angel who sounds the last trumpet.
The piece is scored for solo violin and large orchestra. It lasts just over half an hour and is divided into four movements, which can be sketched out as follows –
I. Fast; contrasting rather brittle, quasi-Baroque music with passages of great drama.
II. A bright scherzo; fast and often playful; elements of more serious concerns are banished.
III. Slow; music of great power and passion contrast with moments of intimacy and radiant beauty.
IV. After a slow introduction, a fast movement which drives relentlessly towards a climatic moment and the solo violinist’s cadenza; after which an ecstatic coda ends the work in glory.
- March 1999: Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra, soloist Dominic Jewel, conductor Adrian Brown.
- March 1999: Harrow Young Musicians Philharmonic, soloist Dominic Jewel, conductor Adrian Brown.