This work was commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate its 40th birthday. The first performance took place in June 1986 at St. Magnus' Cathedral, Kirkwall, as part of the tenth St. Magnus Festival.
Written for and first performed by Isaac Stern, Davies's Violin Concerto brings together two streams in his music: symphonism and folk-fiddling. In its strongly developed substance, it asks to be measured in the company of Beethoven, Brahms and Sibelius, while there is also, particularly in the middle movement, a strong element of the Scots lament. The orchestra is generally muted in colour, though there is a dramatic role for the timpanist.
There are three movements, played without a break - this is only one of many connections with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
Duration c. 30mins.