In 1948, Dmitri Shostakovich finished his first Violin Concerto. The first part of this concerto, ‘Nocturne – Moderato’, is a tribute to the English composer Edward Elgar and his Cello Concerto, which was deemed a breakthrough in the cello repertoire shortly after its premiere.
My Guitar Concerto is also a tribute. A tribute in memory of the Polish, Silesian composer Wojciech Kilar. Inspired by the story of Shostakovich and Elgar, I began my new concerto with a nocturne, entitled 'Nocturne – Andante Con Moto’. The compositional material of the first movement was also inspired by Wojciech Kilar’s Piano Concerto from 1997. I borrowed the use of horizontal harmonic structures, sustained by long notes in the string orchestra. This is paired with the arpeggio technique in the guitar solo part (in Kilar’s case, it was the piano solo part).
The second movement (attacca from the first movement) is entitled ‘Ostinato (Psalm): Adagio – Allegro Moderato – Adagio’. Religious, even choral-like, it has an ostinato character with a recurring theme in the form of a psalm. Faith and Catholicism were extremely important elements in the life and work of Wojciech Kilar.
The third movement was inspired by another minimalist, the American composer John Adams. The third movement of his Violin Concerto gave me the idea for the form and energy of this movement. The Finale of my concerto, entitled 'Toccare: Vivace Ardentemente’ is in the form of a toccata (Italian: toccare – to hit). It is a kind of musical duel between the soloist and orchestra, in minimalist style for which Wojciech Kilar was well-known as a master.