Kvandal`s own note on Concerto for violin and orchestra op. 52

From a handwritten note to violinist Ragin Wenk-Wolff.

Johan Kvandal: Concerto for violin and orchestra. 52

This work was commissioned by the Youth Symphony Orchestra and composed in the first half of 1979. The performance took place in August that year at the Elverum Festival. Soloist with the young musicians was Ragin Wenk-Wolff, who later performed the concert with the orchestras in Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger. The concert was later recorded with violinist Frantisek Veselka and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra led by Jiri Starek.

In this work, the composer has sought to melt elements from the harding fiddle technique and the Norwegian folk music tradition into regular violin techniques, while simultaneously bringing folkloristic features into a larger concert form. Apart from the opening theme in third part, all thematic topics are the composer’s own.

In the first part, the orchestra opens with a brief distinctive motif that plays a role for development, followed by the actual main theme. The solo violin takes over, first with an introduction, then with the main theme. A theme related to Norwegian folk music (slåttemusikk) serves as a transition to a lyrical side theme. The material is processed in a broader execution part. After the repreat, a coda follows.

The second part is threefold and begins with a vastly extended melody line in the solo violin. After an interplay between orchestra and soloist, a mid part of dramatic character follows. The solo violin here brings a folk element with a gloomy character. A larger cadence leads from second part directly to the final part. The main theme has a dance character at a lively pace. The shape is twofold. This work is romantic in its basic mindset in tune with tendencies that take place after the hard modernist 60’s.

Johan Kvandal, Slependen, 4.1. 1996