January 22, 2009 at 1:07 AM
Thank you! :)
You are right , the soloist must have a great deal of humbleness while playing this concerto .I always felt that the melody , the important parts , are not in the solo violin part, but in the orchestral part. Indeed , it is like the violin has an accompaniament role at many points. The main theme is played over and over again , by the ...orchestra. The solo violin seems to approach only variations of the principal themes .
I didn't find , so far, in today's musicians , a performance of this concerto that would confirm me that yes, this is what Beethoven felt..I found this, however, in recordings of Kogan , and Heifetz. My favorite for this concerto is Kogan , and here he is my inspiration .
And , indeed , this concerto is so hard (maybe not technically harder than the other major concertos , but when speaking about interpretation , it is a lake without bottom..). I feel I have so much to understand it , to make it trully mine. I would definetely never take it to a competition now , at this point in my life. I feel this is going to be a life's work for me . But it is , none the less, the most beautiful violin concerto to me.
Thanks for responding , and have a nice evening! :)
As a child I knew of Beethoven only for Fur Elise and a couple of symphonies, had no idea he composed a work only for violin. When I was 21 I cycled around Britain, and with my then very new Sony Walkman casette player strapped on I was looking for an alternative to the Beatles White album (which from memory required 2 long playing tapes) and some Bob Dylan. On a whim I bought a double cassette of Arthur Grumiaux playing Beethoven, Tchaik, Mendelssohn concerti and something else possibly. I wore out the tape over the next two years of travelling, and Grumiaux for me has always been my favourite for the mnedelssohn and the beethoven - but not the Tchaik. Once I heard Vengerov, I moved my allegiance :). I was a non violin playing admirer.
I replayed the overture before the violin enters so many times I knew every part of every instrument by heart. I had many freezing, alone nights - long nights - with only that tape, and it is inextricably associated now with that time. Thanks Buri for giving me some greater depth to hang that memory on.
The local conservatory orchestra plays Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Resphigi and all the big orchestra music with some panache. A few years ago I heard them do Mahler 4. It didn't sound right. But when I look at their repertory for several seasons there is no Haydn or Mozart, very little Beethoven and only occasional Brahms. Most of the earlier masters can only be played in the chamber Orchestra.
yes this is so true. I haven't play this yet and will probably never or never entirely but many soloists say this about the concerto. I saw one of my greatest modern idols: Vadim Repin playing it live and he really plays it well. He was very much influenced by Menuhin since the two men saw themselves regularly when he was studying the concerto (or something like that). I loved this version very much. But Repin said so many times all the typical things: one of the hardest even if it looks easy, very hard to play full secure, always surprises, being "naked" in public to use his expression. I also listened to a short youtube where Oistrakh talks about the concerto and it was really interesting. His manager was translating his words in english... However, I think this doesn't just applies to Bethoven concerto. How often do violinists say of one thing (for example Mozart or even much more childish little things) that it is no big deal and then when they try it back later in life, discover that it is not that easy. Playing many notes quickly is hard but playing a more empty score with many notes half way between long and short notes is a challenge!
You don't have to be at the Beethoven Concerto level to prove that simple things are the hardest. Try to play Silent Night and make it sound good.
When I learned the concerto, one of the most interesting problems, at least at the level I was able to play it, was the difference between the urtext and edited editions. Most of those editions add a lot of slurs that are not in the urtext. In addition, some of the bowings in the urtext are awkward. Beethoven was clearly a decent violinist but not terrific. My father once spoke of hearing Szymon Goldberg play the concerto in concert after Goldberg's careful study of the manuscript and telling me that hearing that interpretation was a real revelation to him. I have heard that Zehetmair's version, which I have not heard, is quite faithful to the urtext.
The other interesting thing that my teacher pointed out to me is that the solo part in the first movement is mostly material from a scale book strung together. But, how wonderfully Beethoven did it.
Corwin, how true!
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