What are your favorite violin concertos?
Just curious to see what pops up! Also, could you explain a little bit why you like that particular concerto? It shows me your viewpoint on the music.
Either Walton, Berg, or Shostakovich 1.
Sibelius - my homeland hero ;)
The lesser known ones: Szymanowskis, Korngold, Bartok 1, etc...
In 2012 Lauri organized a "tournament" among violin concertos here on violinist.com. The tournamen was won by Beethoven. If you search [tournament round] in the search box (omit the square brackets) you will find the relevant blog posts.
Ooh, thanks Jean!
Korngold - my all time number one, for musical and sentimental reasons. The recording with Anne Sophie Mutter is breathtaking.
What a mess Schmidt never wrote a violin concerto... I'm sure it would be in my list, too. Sorry Nina to hijack this thread, but this goes for my favorite unwritten violin concerto...
No, it's fine Nuuska! There was actually a thread about which composers didn't write concertos... I think it's still open!
I remember a time when I was less familiar with violin concertos generally, and I was driving somewhere, and I turned on the radio, and a violin concerto was just beginning. I thought, well, okay, I'll give this a chance. I was rivited. I thought it was just absolutely spectacular in every way. Turned out it was the Sibelius performed by Julian Sitkovetsky. That's when I decided to listen to more VCs seriously.
Although there are many great concertos I don't really need to think that hard (if at all) to pick my favorite. Its Brahms all the way.
Beethoven op. 61. It's everything all the other concertos wish they could be.
No love for the Barber? I especially like Hilary Hahn's version.
I don't think anyone is disrespecting the Barber concerto by not naming it their absolute favorite violin concerto of all time. It's a cute piece that has some really nice moments.
Nuuska, try young Kavakos’ recording of Korngold. Unequaled IMO.
In roughly chronological order
I cannot believe that no one has mentioned the Tchaikovsky!
@Dimitri In the 2012 v.com concerto tournament, tchaikovsky ranked pretty high and the result, voted by thousands of v.com members, was Beethoven > Sibelius > tchai or mendelssohn. The semifinals were Beethoven > Mendelssohn, and Sibelius > tchai. Note that if Laurie changed the semifinal matching, such that Beethoven vs Sibelius and Mendelssohn vs Tchai, then assuming that Beethoven still won, the second position could have been either mendelssohn or Tchaikovsky.
Good to know! Thanks.
Concerto No. 9 De Beriot
Christian Ferras playing Sibelius, the 2nd movement is amazing, "that isn't sweat..."
I agree with Mr. Musafia, my personal favorite is the Tchaikovsky, followed very, very closely by Mendelssohn (e minor), Sibelius, and Saint-Saens No. 3, and Beethoven.
Maybe it's because we heard the Tchaikovsky a little too much.
I actually hate the Tchaikovsky concerto and would not mind never hearing it again as long as I live. (And I'm 35, so it's not like we're only talking about a few years.) The third movement irritates me for some reason.
My greatest love is Beethoven, followed closely by Mendelssohn, then Tchaikovsky and Brahms, then Sibelius. I don’t really like Bruch but I recognise that it’s a very important concerto in the repertoire.
Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Major
Yeah I like Butterfly Lovers Concerto although it's very sentimental. I can't listen to it over and over the way I can other concertos like the Sibelius or the Brahms.
In addition to the usual suspects already mentioned, two that seem to me to be getting a lot of more recent recordings are Britten and Bartók No.2 (rarely not accompanied by No. 1, which I enjoy, but not as much as No. 2). I never really cared for the Bartók No. 2 until recently (tastes evolve!!!). Two recent recordings, by two of my favorite violinists, Christian Tetzlaff and Renaud Capuçon, show the extremes in artistic interpretation of the piece. Both of course are played very well, and have their own merits. Tetzlaff's performance pushes it more towards bombastic, where Capuçon's is down-right gorgeous, to the point of it now being my favorite of all the recordings of it I have. Still haven't settled on a favorite of the Britten, but of all the recordings of it I have, leaning towards Shaham's.
Frank Song - The Schumann violin concerto is AMAZING! That's way up there with Mendelssohn and Sibelius now, for me.
The first movement of Schumann is, to this day, one of my favorite pieces to get out and rip through when I have some time to myself.
At this time, and in no significant order: Shostakovitch 1, Elgar, Korngold, Bach Double Violin, and Bach Am. I first heard the Korngold last year (Hilary Hahn, on a video) and liked it immediately, for some reason. It seems to have received some grudging and snooty comment in its time, but it's easy on the ear and warm hearted, with some lovely melodies. What's not to like?
Unless I missed it, no one mentioned the Goldmark Violin Concerto. It is a beautiful piece. If you never heard it, try to listen to Milstein's recording of it -- especially the second movement. (Josh Bell also has a very good recording of it.)
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.