Most of it was written while the dreadful events of the Baslan school tragedy were unfolding and while the concerto isn't specifically about this, it was impossible not to be affected by it. The first movement is built around repeating ascending and descending motifs - and is intentionally questioning in nature. The middle movement is an adagio that I subsequently borrowed from for my anthem 'For the Fallen' that was first performed a year ago. The third movement was reworked more recently to lighten the mood but this was not entirely successful; the closing bars still ended up sounding eerie and haunting. Maybe, that's partly the nature of the oboe?
This is a Finale 2005 effort. The strings are rather exposed in this and would probably benefit from a rework in F2007, which I now have.
A strangely moving work in its simplicity, Graham;
with the strongly lyrical writing of the adagio most
particularly affecting me... I am, in part, Irish; and
the Celtic lines and sensibilities in this writing succeed
in resonating with my heritage.
Beautifully done in its tenderly wistful statements.