Tuesday, 18 November 2008

197. Ludwig van Beethoven - Violin Concerto (1806)


Title: Violin Concerto
Performers: Itzhak Perlman, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Director: Daniel Barenboim
Year: 1986
Length: 44 minutes


Although not very popular in its day, Beethoven's Violin Concerto has now become a staple violin work, particularly the impressive third movement. This movement is much more famous than the other two, but that is not to say that they are not equally impressive.

The sheer length of the first movement makes it a piece of endurance for any violin player, not only for the solo work but because of the continued and complex relationship with the orchestra.

Ignoring the technical difficulties of the performance it is a truly impressive piece at the pure level of musical enjoyment. The immense first movement is never dull, the second movement creates a beautiful bridge that meshes seamlessly with the joyous finale. Highly recommended indeed.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

It is believed that Beethoven finished the solo part so late that Clement had to sight-read part of his performance. Perhaps to express his annoyance, or to show what he could do when he had time to prepare, Clement interrupted the concerto between the first and second movements with a solo composition of his own, played on one string of the violin held upside down.

The premiere was not a success, and the concerto was little performed in the following decades.

Third movement from this recording, live:

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