Composed for the Norwegian soloist Ole Bøhn, this is one of the great violin concertos of the late twentieth century, in company with those of György Ligeti and John Adams. Its shape is unusually orthodox for Carter: a big opening movement, full of combat and of urgent lyricism from the soloist, is followed by a slow movement and then a light, capricious finale. Carter’s violin, though, is typically independent. It spends most of the slow movement resisting the orchestra’s invitations to relax into elegy, and it turns the finale from dancing humor to a renewal of argument, cuing a cadenza.
- Programme note by Paul Griffiths
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the author.