Conus Violin Concerto

Edited: January 5, 2021, 5:48 PM · Hello again to the community!

I'm currently working on the Conus (and I'll be using it for a competition in two weeks), and I'm rather curious to hear your thoughts on this seldom-played concerto. I've read the thread from about a decade and a half ago (!!), but I thought it wouldn't hurt to restart this discussion...

Best wishes,

Replies (16)

January 5, 2021, 6:29 PM · I personally think you have an advantage playing the conus. It is a very beautiful concerto and definitely has potential to be a winning piece. Maybe I'll pick it up one day.
January 5, 2021, 7:33 PM · The Conus is taught much more by Russians, I think, as a common pedagogical work. Heifetz made a good recording of it, but I've never really warmed to it personally.
January 5, 2021, 9:02 PM · Greetings,
yes the Heifetz performance. It used to be a really common recital piece in the early 20c. I think Spalding was one of the players who played it a lot. He was a fine musician.
January 5, 2021, 9:36 PM · The Conus Violin Concerto is one of the most underrated works for violin. It’s was championed by Fritz Kreisler in the early years. The Heifetz recording is a miracle of violin virtuosity and is Itzhak Perlman’s favorite recording. Ironically, I happen to enjoy Perlman’s recording even more than Heifetz’s recording! It’s a real pity that it isn’t played more often. Like the Mendelssohn Concerto, it’s made to order for the violin and so it fits the frame of the left hand nicely. I happen to love the 2nd movement very much. It’s quite beautiful. Be careful with the Galamian edition. Use his fingerings as suggestions only. You need to own your own fingerings. Use whatever fingerings work best for you. Good luck Yolanda!
January 6, 2021, 8:35 AM · None of my kids played Conus, but I quite like it and think it is a really nice piece pedagogically as well. Apparently Dorothy DeLay advocated teaching it as well, pretty early on in the sequence.
January 6, 2021, 8:49 AM · Yolanda - do you find this concerto inspiring musically? Or is it a work of persistence rather than art? Like Lydia, I have never really engaged (but am open to performances that might reveal its message...).
January 6, 2021, 6:21 PM · Whoa! Very wonderful remarks by all. I certainly agree that in this day in age, the Conus is not played as much as it should be. It's personally not my favorite concerto to listen to (or play, for that matter), but it's still pleasant.

Mr. Saldarriaga, I've seen your comments on recordings of the Conus, haha! I enjoy reading your thoughts.

Mrs. Stanley, that's a good question...This is probably more a problem with me than with the piece, but at the current moment, I'm having trouble enjoying it. However, I think it gives opportunities to flourish musically (and certainly technically!), if that counts for anything.


January 6, 2021, 6:44 PM · I’ve taught Conus a couple of times. Honestly I enjoy it more than the Bruch.
January 6, 2021, 9:19 PM · Do you have a favorite recording to share Mary Ellen?
January 6, 2021, 11:54 PM · No, what I meant was I enjoy teaching it more than I enjoy teaching Bruch. I don’t actually listen to either in my spare time.
January 11, 2021, 11:09 AM · It's a very effective concerto, and emphasizes a strong left hand frame, good core to the sound, and the makings of facility and virtuosity. It was a Galamian vehicle, I'm told, and was very popular at CIM with the faculty. I've suggested it to a couple conductors who say, "It's charming. Let's stick with Tchaikovsky."

I don't think it'll ever be in the standard canon, but it deserves more airings.

January 11, 2021, 8:37 PM · There was a young man called Conus,
Whose concerto was just a bonus
for those who would dare,
To give it an air,
Are told ‘do not be erroneous’
January 12, 2021, 4:52 AM · that's a really good one Buri!
January 12, 2021, 6:39 AM · Nice to have you back Buri! If you ever actually went that is....
January 12, 2021, 10:28 AM · you were gone for some time yourself, weren't you Elise? also nice to have you back.
January 12, 2021, 2:33 PM · A clear case of ‘absinthe makes the heart grow fonder...’

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