2012 Violinist.com Tournament, Round 2, Day 2: Brahms vs. Sibelius
March 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM
We're in the second round, and we're narrowing things down to our favorites of the favorites. Today's decision is nearly impossible (for me, at least!) but let's think about these concertos. Which do you love to play, which do you love to hear? What kinds of things do these concertos do with the sound of the violin? What are your favorite recordings? Ultimately, which concerto do you favor?
Sibelius Violin Concerto vs. Brahms Violin Concerto
And some more listening for you:
Brahms Concerto, II. Adagio: Gidon Kremer, with conductor Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Sibelius Violin Concerto, III. Allegro ma non tanto: Violinist Benjamin Beilman, at the final round of the Montreal International Musical Competition:
Brahms is nice and more popular so it will win. But Sibelius to me has 3 very characteristic movements who connect together as an incredible statement as a whole thing. Brahms 2. and 3. I am not so much a fan of. RIP Sibelius, my tournament-winner. But maybe I am spoiled being half finish...
From Paul Deck
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM
I voted for the Brahms but frankly it was hard to enjoy either one of the linked performances because they're using shoulder rests. Sigh.
Just to make it more difficult, the recordings pit Bernstein/Kremer against Beilman. Still, Sibelius takes the prize.
From Gene Huang
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM
Tough one, but I voted Sibelius.
From Davis King
Posted on March 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM
@Paul Deck... What is wrong with shoulder rests? Many people in my studio play without them, but my neck is so long I'd hurt myself if I tried playing without one. Shouldn't it come down to each player's body and preference? Few things are one way...
I went with Sibelius. No other concerto paints the same pictures and evokes the same mood.
my belief in humanity is reborn! Sibelius to me is an expression wich I never heard in that strength somewhere else. I thought it appeals to me because of my roots. but I remember back when I was 16 I startet violin again because I wanted to sometimes play this concerto. Because of lack of notes I started to play it from the recording. I came not very far, but today I am at least able to play first and second movement. And yes, it was totally worth the 10 years of work at the violin! Ida Haendel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCvs_eWVw7g
Lol I went with Sibelius thinking for sure I'd be a rebel this time guess I'm just not as bad a** as I thought I was.I love these two for the same reason the orchestration for both is amazing but while the Brahms engages my mind and my heart the Sibelius speaks to my very soul.
Just FYI, I got automatically signed out through the night, so in order to see who was winning this morning I had to vote again. So take one vote from the Sibelius total. It wouldn't be fair for me to get two votes (although I live in the Chicago area and such things are not unheard of here).
Wayne - not to worry, same thing happened to me so I voted for Brahms again. Thus we cancel each other out.
Only difference is I wasn't going to say anything... well, at least I'm sort of honest!
From Paul Deck
Posted on March 24, 2012 at 5:45 PM
I noticed sometime yesterday that Brahms was leading by a nose and then a short time later it was Sibelius by three lengths. That kind of made me go "hmm." C'mon guys, re-voting to see the comments is one thing, but no ballot box stuffing!
[Laurie: Is it possible to vote multiple times if you are logged out? If so, it might be possible to check the IP addresses of the voters - to see if there are multiples from the same site. Of course that does not stop someone from using multiple computers but that would at least take a lot of effort.]
Laurie, thanks so much for giving us all these beautiful music clips to listen to. I was too late to vote, but I would have gone for Sibelius. Brahms writes for the violinist but Sibelius seems to write for the violin.
I've never looked at the concerto - but am familiar with some of the the sonatas. From bizzare fingerings, even for relatively simple passages on paper, I'd guess he had no clue about playing the instrument - though the output was sublime. Thus get the impression he really did write for the violin. not the violinist...