Leeuw, Ton de

Ton de Leeuw was born on November 16, 1926 in Rotterdam. He died on May 31, 1996 in Paris (France). In 1949, after some years of composition lessons with Henk Badings, ...

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Vioolconcert II : 1961 / Ton de Leeuw

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 1961
Publisher's number: 06411
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Violin and orchestra
Instruments: 2222 2200 timp perc str vl-solo
Remarks: In opdracht van het Nederlands Studenten Orkest
Duration: 20'00"
Year of composition: 1961
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

The "Second violin concerto", commissioned by the Netherlands Student Orchestra, consists of three movements. The first begins with a single note in the orchestra, after which the violin enters, initially with short rising motifs (series of thirds), but quickly develops into a longer solo passage having the character of an improvisation. The part played by the orchestra gradually increases in importance; one of the following passages is characterised by short notes in the woodwinds and brass, with long notes in the bass.
Consequently, a rising line in the violin leads to the central section of the first movement. This forms a contrast to the beginning, e.g. by strongly marked rhythmic double stops in the violin. After a few short orchestral intermezzi, this rhythmic fragment quickly dissolves and is followed, after a pause, by a final passage which, though not repetition, resembles the beginning in character and material.
The structure of the second movement is more difficult to describe. It consists of a number of fragments which follow one another freely like the links in a chain. There is certainly a strong mutual relationship in the musical material, but this is always presented in a different way. These sections also form one large unit in character. As a whole, the second movement is slightly faster, but particularly more robust and taut in character than the first movement. The orchestra and violin alternate regularly. The violin part has a virtuoso character, mainly because of the large jumps which must be performed.
The last movement has the same chain-like structure as the second, but the music is completely different. In the first place, the violin part is dominated by a rhythmic figure which through its asymmetric form gives this movement a character all of its own. This figure, which often occurs in Africa, forms the basis of the whole of the solo part and makes high demands on the rhythmic skill of the soloist. Several ostinato forms occur in the orchestra: rhythmic and melodic patterns which are repeated continuously. One note (B) finally liberates itself from these static fields of sound, gaining in importance as the end approaches, and finally remaining as the only background to the ever agile-rhythmic violin part which continues to move rhythmically. - TON DE LEEUW

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