Neglected concertos

September 6, 2009 at 06:24 AM ·

 All of us love the violin concertos of  Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Bruch, etc., but I guess there is more than that...   Do you know any violin concerto that tallies the great ones both in musical beauty and technique, but somehow never received  the deserved attention either from the violin heroes or the public?  It took us a couple of centuries to "discover" Bach and Vivaldi, so I am wondering how many more we might be unaware of while hearing the very same concertos 1000s of times...

Replies (63)

September 6, 2009 at 09:34 AM ·


there are a lot of undervalued and under (or never) performed works around.  I think there is a threa don this already but it was a while back.  A small segment of these works are of the 19th century virtuoso or semi virtuoso ilk.  Somehow,  20c recitals and concerts seemed to become more `serious` and a great many babies were thrown out with the bathwater.  Actually I was watching a series of masterclasses yesterday on youtube and 11 and 12 year olds were playing Mozart five,  Lalo Symphony Espagnole  etc.   These performances were so technically inaacurate and musically inept I wanted to throw my computer out of the window.  It was horror upon horror.  Reason I mention it is because these presumably `toppish` students of presumably `good` teachers are butchering masterworks instea dof adopting a sensible technical regime accompanied by works that have been traditionally used to develop style and technique without creating Potempkin Performances....

I am talking about the following composers among others: Viotti, Rode,  Spohr,  Dancla,  DeBeriot  Kreutzer, Vieuxtemps.  Not to mention the Handel Sonatas of which Auer considered a deep knowledge of at least three de rigeur.  Not all of these concertos necessarily sound that impressive in today@s concert halls.  I don`t think Viotti 23 for example is calculated to bring the house down but it is a fine work.  But remember that Brahms raved about 22 and Milstein tellsof how he and Piatigorsky were struck immobile for a time by Kreisler`s performance of this work.  Nowadays it is occassionally played as a `student work` and not much more.  Spohr 8 is a masterpiece which is presumably why Hilary Hahn recently committed it to disk.  There are also concertos by Joachim,  ernst,  Lipinski, Miaskovsky ,  Arensky and so on.Not to mention the Paginini conceretos after 1 and2 which are lovely.  

To be honest,  programing is so limited and conventional these days one could list hundreds of works which are unjustly neglected and would liven up concert programming.



September 6, 2009 at 12:15 PM ·

I am playing Mozart 2nd concerto right now and according to my teacher it´s it very rarely played. He says he has heard it once performed and he´s a professional of over 20 years!

I´d also like to add Bassini: Round of the Goblins. It´s one of my favourite pieces but it´s so rarely played!


September 6, 2009 at 12:24 PM ·

Oh, so many! I'll mention a few off the top of my head, and I'm sure I'll think of more later...

Mozart #1 and 2;  Viotti 22 ( and I'm sure many of his others are fine as well. I'd also studied 23 as a kid.); Bruch #2 - I've also heard good things about 3, but haven't heard it yet; Wieniawski #1 (and if you don't know it, certainly #2); Conus;  Spohr #8, and #2 is nice, too; Bartok #1; two hardly unknown, but not done all that much - Dvorak and Goldmark;  Ernst;  the Haydn G major is somewhat overshadowed by the C major;  Kabalevsky; Khachturian;

Aaron Rosand revived and recorded a whole array of neglected concertos. These include the Joachim "Hungarian" concerto; Goddard; Arensky; Hubay, etc.

Hmm...thinking about all this repertoire  - I'd better go and practice!

September 6, 2009 at 01:49 PM ·

 I think that many other concertos written by certain composers who are famous for writing a certain "famous" concerto are overlooked.


Such as, Bruch 2&3. Mendelssohn D Minor.

But for me, the gem is Schumann's violin concerto.  Phenomenal piece.

September 6, 2009 at 01:50 PM ·

The Robert Schumann violin concerto would top my list. 

Interesting that Raphael brought up Rosand and the Joachim concerto.  I was listening to Rosand's recording of that piece yesterday, and sadly realized that despite being a really fine piece, I will probably never hear it played live.  Brahms, on the other hand...

September 6, 2009 at 02:20 PM ·

Miakovsky and Dvorak!!!  (if we compare with as beautiful but much more famous concertos)


September 6, 2009 at 04:27 PM ·

I have a recording of Stern playing Viotti 22 and Bartok. Of course, its on record and not CD. I was excited when my teacher allowed me to play this because it was my first "real" concerto.

September 6, 2009 at 06:05 PM ·

This is a concerto for violin and viola, but I think the Bruch Double Concerto is sadly neglected. It's a gorgeous piece and no one has ever heard of it!

September 6, 2009 at 06:42 PM ·

The Britten Violin Concerto, and his Double Concerto for Violin and Viola.

The Jose White Violin Concerto.

Siegfried Wagner's Violin Concerto, Richard Strauss's Violin Concerto.

EDIT - White not often played in the west, the Ernst "Pathetique" Concerto is considered by many Russian violinists to be the most technically difficult of all concertante violin repertoire.

September 6, 2009 at 06:44 PM ·

Shostakovich Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor. It is at least as good as, if not better than, the 1st concerto, though the 2nd concerto has never received the amount of attention the earlier work has gotten over the years.

September 6, 2009 at 10:46 PM ·

 Go to IMSLP and you can find the music to quite a few including Lalo "Concerto Russe"; Coleridge Taylor; Jan Kubelik Concerto #1 and so on.

September 7, 2009 at 02:38 PM ·

It's not a violin concerto, but my vote is for the Cello Concerto by Virgil Thompson (the American music critic and composer). It is in a classical concerto format, with a modern and American idiom. It seems to me it is hardly ever played. There are only two recordings of it, one out of print. To my ear it rivals any concerto  written in the last 100 years. In the category of cello concertos it is clearly at the level of the Elgar and Dvorak masterpieces. Thompson was dead wrong in his scathing criticism of Heifetz ("Silk Underwear Music"), but he hit a grand slam home run with this Cello Concerto.

September 7, 2009 at 03:32 PM ·

Taneyev's Concert Suite -- gorgeous piece.

September 7, 2009 at 03:58 PM ·

 >This is a concerto for violin and viola, but I think the Bruch Double Concerto is sadly neglected. It's a gorgeous piece and no one has ever heard of it!

Omigosh, I had no idea. Must run out to find this - I'm a huge fan of Bruch's works for violin and orchestra - thought I'd heard them all. Thanks, Ruth!

Just discovered Dohnanyi's 2nd violin concerto, after Bram posted the score and music of his harder to find 1st VC. Just loving it. 

Also have the Nielsen here to listen to, that's new to me. And I've been forever a fan of the Schumann. Oh, and the Wieniawski became a "where have you been all my life?" favorite about a year and a half ago. (Anne H - you can thank your friend John for the mention in his "about the musicians" SF Symphony playbill profile. The second movement - oh my, oh my.)

September 7, 2009 at 04:04 PM ·

 Ruth, is this the Bruch Double Concerto you were talking about? 

Double Concerto For Clarinet, Viola And Orchester In E Minor, Op. 88

September 7, 2009 at 05:19 PM ·

I also think that actual soloists seldom explore the repertoire outside the common "mainstream" path, at least in concert. And more on topic, I can't understand how Hindemith's (by far not my favorite composer, but I love this work) Violin Concerto is never played, recorded or even commented nowadays. Only  the 3 phantastic recordings (Oistrakh, Stern and Gitlis) I know are already worth a discussion IMO.

September 7, 2009 at 05:28 PM ·

Watch this one:


 As suggested above, the parts are available at:,_Max


But, hey, if some one you upload some of these rarities somewhere, they will not be so neglect anymore, at least by me  ;-)

September 8, 2009 at 03:11 AM ·

Yes, Bruch's Op. 88 was what I was referring to. I'm so excited to see it up on IMSLP!!! I would love to learn this piece next year (on viola most likely, but I'm game fore either part). 

I also recommend the Bashmet recording   :)


September 8, 2009 at 03:53 AM ·

Bruch No. 3 (yes, there is a number 3) has a very beautiful and romantic slow movement, and the finale is catchy, rhythmic and energetic.  I love it.  The 1st movement is probably why the concerto is neglected because it is a) technically challenging and b) pompous.  Accardo made a very fine recording of it that is available.

I agree that the Shostakovich No. 2 is a splendid concerto.  It is not exactly neglected, as there are quite a number of recordings of it.  The first two movements are dark hued and very Russian sounding  (in a positive sense).

Mozart No. 2 is a fine piece and quite easy to play.  Should be done more.

September 8, 2009 at 05:20 AM ·

the Hyperion label has a series called "The Romantic Violin Concerto" that features mostly either little-known composers, or little-known concerti by well-known composers.  Many of them are really beautiful.  Here's a link to one of the recordings - you can find more in the "you might also like" box farther down the page.

September 8, 2009 at 05:21 AM ·

P.S.  I'm a big fan of the Saint-Saens Concerto #1. 

September 8, 2009 at 02:52 PM ·

My vote for the Bruch and that Saint-Seans!  The Schumann also!

Isn't there one by Shostackovich that has been mentioned in the threads?  I was thinking not all that long ago there was someone looking for a rercording of a violin concerto by Shostackovich and a recording has yet to turn up?

September 8, 2009 at 03:51 PM ·

re Shostakovich #2:   I have the Daniel Hope and Gidon Kremer recordings.  On Amazon I see Vengerov, Mordkovich and Kaler (and Oistrakh but it's out of print).  It's not as popular as #1, but it looks like you can find a good recording or three if you're interested.

September 8, 2009 at 05:11 PM ·


September 10, 2009 at 12:33 PM ·

Has anybody heard of the Molique concerto #5? I studied it as a young man, and it was quite tough for me. I believe he was a student of Spohr.

I actually have the music, including some of the orchestra parts,  to another rarirty - the Anton Rubenstein violin concerto, but never made my way through it.  Some years ago I heard a performance of it on the radio, and it was a very attractive piece.

Rosand has a CD that includes a concerto by Klaus Egge. In the notes he admits that it took him about a year to learn it! It's a departure for him, as it's pretty modern. I've listened to it 2 or 3 times, but frankly can't get into it.

A modern concerto I can get into is by Edgar Myer, which is on one of Hilary Hahn's CD's. I find it very poignant.

And what about Beethoven's other violin concerto? That's right! About a year ago I heard this on the radio, played by Gidon Kremer. There was no comment by the announcer, and I know nothing about it. But it's not Beethoven at his best. - not unlike Mendelssohn's 'prequal'.

September 10, 2009 at 01:14 PM ·

 Here we have something !

I just checked a few lists containing Beethoven's works , as suggested in the Wikipedia, but none of them mentions 'another' violin concerto. Only in one list they mentioned a fragment of a concerto in F, never finished. Can you bring up more details to investigate the case?

September 10, 2009 at 01:22 PM ·

Respighi comes to mind for me. He wrote two concertos that get no play at all, and I think are horribly underrepresented -- the Concerto Gregoriano and Concerto all'Anitca.

The Gregoriano (as its name suggest) is based partially on the "Victimae paschali laudes" chant, and the all'Antica is written in neo-Classical style, reminiscent of Vivaldi. They're great pieces that don't get the respect they deserve!


September 10, 2009 at 08:36 PM ·


I have Beethoven`s other cocnerto with Kremer. I think I listened to it once and threw it in the back of the fridge.   Can`t remeber if it was just a reworked hotch potch of a piano work blah blah.  Seemed a complete waste of time on first hearing.  Maybe I should be more patient. I`ll try and find it....



September 10, 2009 at 09:28 PM ·

And what about Beethoven's other violin concerto? That's right! About a year ago I heard this on the radio, played by Gidon Kremer.

Are you sure you weren't listening to his cadenza to Op. 61?  :-)

The return of that cadenza to the gentle coda reminded me of a cafeteria full of students acting innocent again after a food fight.

September 10, 2009 at 11:26 PM ·

It's funny what I do and don't remember. I remember exactly where I was driving when the piece came on the radio. I remember that it was in C, and I thought that B.'s 1st piano concerto is in C, maybe it's an arrangement of that - but no, it wasn't. But again, not stellar Beethoben - more an interesting curiosity.

Buri - maybe you can reach back in your fridge and look for liner notes?

September 11, 2009 at 05:00 AM ·

Has anyone mentioned Jose White's violin concerto?  It was recorded by Aaron Rosand but  first performed in the United States by Ruggiero Ricci  in 1974, though it was written  in 1864 and premiered by the composer as soloist in 1867. White was a classmate of Sarasate's  studying with Delphin Alard at the Paris Conservatory. There is a more recent recording available by Rachel Barton Pine.

 After its premiere critical  acclaim was given for the concerto describing it as follows: " The fabric is excellent, the basic thematic ideas are carefully distinguished, the harmonies are elegant and clear, and the orchestration is written by a secure hand, free from error. One feels the presence of a strong and individual nature from the start. Not a single note exists for mere virtuosity, although the performance difficulties are enormous."

September 11, 2009 at 10:43 AM ·

Some others nearly unknown and unplayed concertos are:

Otar Taktakishvili,No.1, A romantic and beautiful piece; one of the most I ever heard. Liana Isakadze had a great recording.

Nicolai Rakov No.1.another romantic and lovely concerto. Both Oistrakhs had recorded it. Personnally I prefer Igor's

Bliss. In the hands of great Alfredo, his dedicatee, sounds wonderful

September 11, 2009 at 09:31 PM ·

 My favorite violin concerto is Concerto Gregoriano by Ottorino Respighi. The third part is called Hallelujah and it is wonderful.


September 11, 2009 at 10:53 PM ·

I mentioned the Jose White - a musicologist friend of mine says that it's his favorite concerto.

September 13, 2009 at 03:25 AM ·

At last, it was not Beethoven's fault. It seems that only a fragment of his violin concerto in C was left, and a few guys attempted to reconstruct it. The information is very scarce :


But no trace in the web of any recording available. Any volunteer to  post it ???????

September 14, 2009 at 11:57 AM ·

Yesterday I heard a new one (new for me) on the radio by Gerald Finzi, played by Tasmin Little. It didn't sound very difficult and was pleasnt to listen to. Not to the point where I'd want to locate the sheet music, but nice. The 2nd mvt. esp.,  was evocative.

Glenn Dicterow recorded the Lee Holdridge concerto a long time ago. Holdridge is perhaps known more as a film composer, and his lush orchesrtation went well with Dicterow's rich, beautiful tone. Here too, I like the lyrical and somewhat mysterious slow mvt. best.

I don't remember if I or anyone mentioned the Conus concerto. Kreisler played it, and Heifetz really put it on the map with his absolutely stunning recording of it. Though not the case, parts of it sound as though it could have been written for a Hollywood movie from the '40's. Now there's one that I'd love to perform some time!


September 22, 2009 at 05:30 AM ·

It seems we have a long list !   I felt inspired to see if I also could dig something, and I found that Schubert wrote a violin concerto (D.345). It is definitely in the neglected category, but frankly speaking, it deserves to be so...

I agree about Paganini 'other' concertos. Particularly, I think 4 and 5 are some of the most mind-blowing pieces I ever heard. I was looking for some performance on Youtube, but found none. It is a shame !

September 23, 2009 at 05:38 AM ·

Anyone mentioned Bohuslav Martinu’s two violin concertos? Also concertos by Dohnanyi, Szymanowski and Ahmed Adnan Saygun, and André Previn's violin concerto "Anne-Sophie" are all worth checking out.

September 23, 2009 at 12:28 PM ·

I do have the Previn recording. it is a very decent work, and wonderfully played by Ann Sophie Mutter. Listening again recently to Edgar Myer's concerto, brilliantly and sensitively played by Hilary Hahn, I was struck again by its poigancy and lyricism. I wonder if anybody knows whether it's available in the public domain, whether there is a piano reduction to the orchestra part, etc.?

Anybody up for the Ginastera concerto? I heard that both Ricci and Elmar Oliviera - no minor technicians! - agreed that it is maybe the hardest of them all! I think Elmar recorded it, but I haven't heard it.

September 23, 2009 at 12:36 PM ·


I have heard the Ginastera.  VERY DIFFICULT!  Ruggiero Ricci did record it, but for some reason, it hasn't been re-issued on CD.  I have not hear Elmar Oliveira's performance, but do have a version on CD with Salvatore Accardo that is excellent.  On it is another oddity - A sonata by Bartok, written before the other two.  It is quite an interesting piece and fun to hear.

For those interested in the Dohnanyi, James Ehnes recorded one of the two concertos on the Chandos label (I believe) not too long ago - a stunning performance (like always...).


September 23, 2009 at 09:09 PM ·

Ginastera-Ricci was on CD. I had it some time ago, but sold it,because I couldn't stand the piece.I listened it the day I bought it, and never after.

About Dohnanyi, 1 and 2 , I've on Hungaroton by Szabadi. Splendid play IMO.

September 23, 2009 at 11:57 PM ·

Concerto Romantique for Violin & Orchestra Op. 35

April 11, 2010 at 05:33 AM ·

AccidentaIly, I just came across Lalo's violin concerto op. 20. It didn't blow my mind, but it is a beautiful work. Never heard of it before.

April 11, 2010 at 06:04 AM ·

Martinu has two wonderful violin concertos, although I like his viola Rhapsody and cello concertos better. They are all incredible works and should not be missed.

April 11, 2010 at 06:27 AM ·

 I would really like to see Godard's Concerto Romantique in a minor become more of a standard.  I'm awfully fond of it.  The beginning is like karate for your bow and there's just no way you can forget the second movement.  I studied it my first time at the Aspen music festival when I was younger and I'll admit one time I was playing the second movement in a practice room and it really made me feel homesick.  I had to stop and collect myself a bit before continuing.

Here's a nice recording.  I'm tempted to think the player is Mr. Rosand.  Sounds like him and I know he recorded it at one point.

April 11, 2010 at 05:29 PM ·

 These days we don't hear enough of  Vieuxtemps & Wienawski concertos and the  Khachaturian as well.

April 11, 2010 at 07:04 PM ·

 Not really a concerto but Berlioz's Harold en Italy. I've only heard it once. 

I would have to say the Glass concerto, and most of Viotti's concerti are painfully neglected (at least by classical radio stations) today. 

April 11, 2010 at 08:24 PM ·

 actually the Glass concerto will  be featured next year by Seattle Symphony.

I heard that Mr. Glass is writing a second one which will be premiered by Robert McDuffie.

April 11, 2010 at 08:57 PM ·

Yes!! I'm a big fan of the Delius Concerto. I studied it when preparing for my doctoral orals, last summer. There is a recording made in 1944 by Albert Sammons, I believe.

April 11, 2010 at 09:09 PM ·

Yes. On Naxos Historical with the famous Elgar's.

April 11, 2010 at 10:56 PM ·


April 12, 2010 at 03:00 AM ·

Don't know if it's a concerto. Probably a mvt of one,

Carol Lipinski "Rondo alla Pollaca".

I've been awoken once with this beautiful music and never heard it since (and it seems not find"able" on the net.)  Weirdly, I just heard of one violinist who have record it. (surely they are others too?)

Anyway, not very known! 


April 12, 2010 at 04:00 AM ·

I like the Gian-Carlo Menotti concerto.  The Hindemith concerto grew on me, but until you acquire a taste for Hindemith, don't bother.  :-)

EDIT: To make it clear, neither of these ranks with the greatest concerti.  I think Vieuxtemps #5 is closer to a great concerto than most people, I'd guess.

April 12, 2010 at 04:57 AM ·

Well what about the following concerti, which are 'romantic' in a broader sense, :

Anton Rubinstein, op 46

  1. Reinhold Gliere, Op 100
  2. Bruch No 3 (there is a recording by Accardo)
  3. Ottorino Respighi
  4. Karol Lipinski (for listeners interested in Paganii style music)
  5. Max Reger ( even though a little bit difficult to listen to)
  6. Beethoven concerto Wop (I forgot the number),
  7. Hubay wrote 4 concerti and I would think No 4 is the best.
  8. For Paganini lovers: No2 and No 6 are not performed/recorded so often.
  9. Edmund Rubbra, op 103
  10. Ernst, (for people who are interested in show piece like concerti)
  11. Castel nuovo Tedesco
  12. Joseph Joachim
  13. Alban Berg (in my opinion the best and the most melodic using the the 12 tone technique)

I guess this shoud give some inspiration. However therre are some concertos I would think that they are rather akward  to listen to

  1. Pfitzner
  2. Schoenberg
  3. Vainberg
  4. Rochberg
  5. William Walton

No matter how often I listened to those concertos i couldn't really appreciate it. At least to my personal taste they were a kind of too abstract.

April 12, 2010 at 12:14 PM ·

Giere - is there any recording? Many years ago I was haunted by a most evocative radio airing of his concerto for soprano!

April 12, 2010 at 02:17 PM ·

Gliere lef unfinished his V.C. Only first movement. I've a vynil recording copied to CD, by Boris Goldshtein. Beautiful piece. Lyatoshinsky wrote 2 movements more to complete the work, but I don't know if it has been recorded.

April 12, 2010 at 04:48 PM ·

glass concertoooo!

April 28, 2010 at 02:27 PM ·

 Karlowicz concerto is hard. bacewicz also wrote 7!

April 28, 2010 at 07:24 PM ·

Britten!  Would LOVE to hear it played live.  Go listen to Janine Jansen play it...hope it will get some attention!!!

April 29, 2010 at 05:53 AM ·

"Don't know if it's a concerto. Probably a mvt of one,

Carol Lipinski "Rondo alla Pollaca".

I've been awoken once with this beautiful music and never heard it since (and it seems not find"able" on the net.)  Weirdly, I just heard of one violinist who have record it. (surely they are others too?)

Anyway, not very known! 

Anne-Marie" ???

or is it,_Op.7_(Lipi%C5%84ski,_Karol_J%C3%B3zef) ???

One says op 13 and the other says op 7...

May 7, 2010 at 11:47 AM ·

There is a recording of the Gliere concerto on CD:

Yuko Nishino violin and Yondani Butt conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra

May 7, 2010 at 10:24 PM ·

 I second the Nielsen Concerto. Amazing piece.


May 8, 2010 at 12:04 AM ·

 For me it would be Locatelli, Geminiani, and Nardini.

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