Joseph Joachim on how to play Mendelssohn's e minor violin concerto

January 9, 2015 at 04:44 PM · The 16-year-old Joseph Joachim played Mendelssohn's E minor concerto together with the composer as the conductor on several occasions. He passed on invaluable advice by the composer how to play the concerto. I particularly admire how Joachim captured the different moods of the concerto in his beautiful words and directly translated this into practical advice regarding the execution. Furthermore, I found it highly interesting to learn about Mendelssohn's ideas how to handle tempo variations in this concerto. The text is followed by a solo part with markings that are equally interesting and rewarding to study. The advice is so detailed and clear that one can nearly hear Joachim playing this concerto. I am really fascinated!

Enjoy reading (starts at p. 228, German and English):

Joseph Joachim on how to play Mendelssohn's E minor concerto (from part 3 of his violin school) - free PDF (16 MB)

Thanks to Chris Verrette who mentioned this invaluable and inspiring source in a 2006 thread and captured my interest!

Replies (1)

January 9, 2015 at 10:01 PM · fascinating Mathias, thanks for the tip! also very interesting for all the other great solo works treated in this book, including cadenza's. so this must be the original source of Joachim's cadenza's for the famous concerto's. probably this book is well known but, like you, I hadn't seen it yet.

by the way, while looking at the final movement of the Mendelsohn, the passage immediately after the long trills that lead into the ending part of the concerto, I noticed that the rhythm written there is actually quite different from how most soloists perform it. basically most performers put emphasis on notes that are not on the beats as written down.

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