John B Hedges

composer & musician

Violin Concerto (2001) for solo violin & orchestra

2(dbl.picc)222 2221 2 perc., cel., hp., strings

Duration: 24'

The Violin Concerto is made up of three movements played continuously and linked by brief cadenza-like moments in the solo violin. Each movement uses images of ocean and water to describe very contrasting emotional states. The meditative first movement, “spinnaker”, recounts the excitement and power of the large sail on a racing sailboat as the constant, deliberate tug-of- war ends with the wind proving to powerful for a young boy’s grip, leaving him in awe and admiration of the struggle.

The raucous second movement, “Thorpeness storm”, evokes the jollity and anticipation of joining a group of friends on a dark night in England to watch a storm rage some miles of the coast on the North Sea. The frivolity of their party is juxtaposed with the anxious waiting for the lightning strikes that, when they happen, streak across the sky leaving one briefly dumbfounded.

The broadest movement is the third, “autumn waves on Dewey Beach”. It juxtaposes the quiet beauty of a beach in the autumn (the opening section which returns later) with the struggle of the my mother’s failing heart (presented by the solo violin playing a rising line made of my mother’s name accompanied by asymmetrical heartbeats in the low strings and winds). The climax of the movement brings a return of the tug-of-war struggle from the first movement this time presented by the solo violin set against the full orchestra. After the climax an emotional cadenza is accompanied by a sonic representation of the beach with waves
crashing (low brass blowing through their instruments) and seagulls (double bass harmonic glissandos) finally ending in calm assurance. My mother received a successful transplant in the fall of 2001 and is currently living a full and exciting new life.

Violin Concerto - Printed Score
Add To Cart
Violin Concerto - Printed Solo Violin Part
Add To Cart

Performance materials available for rental.  For more information contact