This work for cello and orchestra was commissioned by the Strathclyde Regional Council and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. It is the second of ten concerti to be written for principal players of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The first performance was given in February 1989 by William Conway and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer.
If Davies's Cello Concerto has already evoked comparisons with Elgar's, that is perhaps an indication not only of its wealth of solo melody (there is hardly a page where the cello is not singing, or if not that, then dancing), and of its predominantly slow tempos, but also of its musical stature. This second Strathclyde concerto is a virtuoso piece for the entire ensemble, which is used almost throughout as a clutch of soloists rather than as a tutti block. The general tone is one of passionate but interior dialogue, especially in the opening Moderato and the slow movement; and though the finale is more extrovert, the work ends back in quietness and rumination.
This book contains the solo cello part and a piano reduction of the orchestral score.