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Burgess’s concertos display unity in larger matters and variety in smaller ones, aiming to achieve coherence without monotony. Their greatest originality, and a major part of their attractiveness, arises from the fact that they draw their inspiration from three different sources. Particularly in the fast movements not in binary form, they adopt the structure and much of the style of equivalent movements by Vivaldi. But they also follow Handelian precedent in their copious use of the ‘call-and-response’ device, where soloist and orchestra exchange a series of phrases, and in their striving for gravitas and pathos. To these influences can be added their frequent allusions to English song and dance traditions.
Music example Concerto No. 1 (pdf) Music example Concerto No. 2 (pdf) Music example Concerto No. 3 (pdf)