Close to my heart is the violin, and so we will visit lots of concerti for my instrument. Here are four examples to check out and cherish. I get excited just writing about them and preparing this. So much for getting anything else done tonight, I'm going to go listen to all of these now!
I hope you too, will look these up.
Felix Mendelssohn wrote a concerto that became a standard in the Romantic repertory, for violinists and composers. Listen to this passage with Yehudi Menuhin and you'll hear why!
Double stops, octaves and schmalz.
Johannes Brahms one up'd ol' Felix. This return to the orchestra at the end of the cadenza is charmingly played by Itzhak Perlman.
Ah, trills and thrills.
Bela Bartok wrote a violin concerto (1938) and had it published. What he didn't tell anyone is that he wrote another one before that (1908) and gave it to the woman, Stefi Geyer, he was in love with, who did not return his love. She kept the score and told no one about it. It was discovered in her belongings after her death. This passage with David Oistrakh happens after a huge moment with the orchestra.
Long, lost and lush!
The best for last? Well for today, Beethoven's Violin Concerto is the granddaddy of romantic concerti and is the GOLD standard. Viktoria Mullova certainly has a lot to say about it in her latest version - in this first movement passage leading up to a wild tutti.
Vivacious Viktoria creates tension up to a joyous outcome.