5.02.2007



Max Bruch, 1867.
Violin Concerto No 1 In G Minor, Op. 26 - 1. Vorspiel: Allegro Moderato.



Fiery and passionate, Bruch first violin concerto from its premiere in 1868 was a monstrous success both critically and with the public at large. It is notable that Bruch, a pianist, wrote such a masterful work of violinistic expression. While drawing upon techniques utilized by Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and influenced by the violinist for which the work was dedecated (Joachim), Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 is rather unique and is unusual in several aspects. The first rarity is the nature of the first movement being written as a Vorspiel (prelude) and its direct link to the slower second movement. The opening movement is not without depth and richness though, as the violin of the soloist reigns supreme and dances through the orchestra. The second oddity is the lack of a cadenza either written for the violinist or allowed for the violinist to insert. It is the grand nature and free wheeling spirit of the written violin parts that has made the use of a cadenza decadent and gratuitous.

I recently saw Janine Jensen perform this work with the Philadelphia Orchestra, it was a highly refreshing and energetic perfomance and her recording is recommended with high praise.


Selected recordings recommended for purchasing:
Heifetz with New Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Sargent) version available here.
Perlman with Concertgebouw Orchestra (conducted by Haitink) version available here.
Jensen with Gewandhaus Orchestra (conducted by Chailly) version available here.


Artwork: Théodore Géricault // The Charging Chasseur

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