Concerto Grosso was commissioned in 1972 by the Scottish Amateur Music Association for the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.
I took as my starting point the 18th century concerto grosso form with its element of contrast between small and large instrumental forces. The concertino (solo) group consists of cornet, horn, trombone and euphonium. The work is cast in one continuous movement (the old concerto grosso was often in three or more). The single movement is cast in the arch-like version of the ritornello form which was the mainstay of the baroque concerto. There are three main episodes which alternate with the ritornello and these exploit slow lyrical melodies as well as more rhythmically charged music. The final coda contrasts the ritornello material with the concertino group’s own material, bringing the work to a resounding conclusion.