Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Top 5 Violin Concertos

Number 1 – Ludwig van Beethoven, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Opus 61, written in 1806.
"The Gentle Giant." A piece of music made of the simple materials but of immense scope and structure. A classic Beethoven trait where he spins one idea or theme out into huge works. The 5-beat element present almost everywhere in the 1st Movement is perfect example.

Number 2 – Johannes Brahms, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Opus 77, written in 1878.
"Depth and romanticism." He had to have been in love when he wrote this one!

Number 3 – Jean Sibelius, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Minor, Opus 47, written in 1903.
"Emotional, majestic, and exciting." Two outer movements, rough and rugged in nature are completely contrasted by the beauty of the slow middle movement. Which only has one long melodic line, repeated twice.

Number 4 – Peter Tchaikovsky, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Opus 35, written in 1878.
"A true blockbuster." This is the most popular violin concerto ever written, and with good reason. Written in a burst of happy inspiration, an audience favourite for over 125 years, and shows no signs of going anywhere.

Number 5 – Edward Elgar, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in B Minor, Opus 61, written in 1910.
"Victorian pomp and emotional sensitivity all rolled into one." Maybe I like this so much because of its 'Englishism'! The depth of emotion, genuine sentimentality, regal dignity, and consummate virtuosity inherent in this music is all perfectly combined.

This is by no means an official top 5. Just simply my own pickings of popular and prestigious concretos. As I write this, who knows, my own choice may have changed.

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