Not to be confused with the earlier Concerto in D for violin and orchestra, this work was one of many commissions from Swiss conductor Paul Sacher for his chamber orchestra in Basle. It makes a lively addition to the string orchestra repertoire and could be programmed alongside the popular string-only works of Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Elgar. It would also fit well with Baroque and Classical string repertoire, as well as Bartók’s Divertimento, Barber’s famous Adagio, Britten’s Simple Symphony, Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra, Pärt’s Cantus, Adams’s Shaker Loops or Clyne’s Within Her Arms.
Repertoire note by Jonathan Cross
The Stravinsky scholar Roman Vlad finds the Concerto in D "a light, vivacious work, ...in the nature of pure entertainment or even escapism. The musical discourse trips along with gay, carefree lilt." But Jerome Robbins, cueing on the jabbing accents and heady velocity, turned it into a grim and violent ballet, "The Cage."
Repertoire note by Joseph Horowitz