Mendelssohn version

September 22, 2021, 7:41 AM · Recommendations for versions of E minor, Opus 64 for daughter.

Replies (25)

September 22, 2021, 9:53 AM · Published text, or sound recording?
September 22, 2021, 10:37 AM · I'm glad someone else asked that!
September 22, 2021, 11:01 AM · Always happy to take a bullet for you.
September 22, 2021, 11:13 AM · Henle or Heifetz
September 22, 2021, 11:32 AM · I would say Shlomo Mintz and Barenreiter
September 22, 2021, 11:46 AM · And that is why we are destined to combat until the end of time.
September 22, 2021, 11:47 AM · Sorry meant text, though it is helpful to hear both!
September 22, 2021, 12:12 PM · For ages, the International edition was the standard, at least as assigned by Galamian disciples. There have been other attempts more recently that acknowledge the manuscript in some fashion. I think David Cerone did that, and the guy out at Michigan (Shipps?) may have tried something.

Joachim studied the piece under Mendelssohn, so would be worth a look if only for tempo and general expression.

IMSLP will have the manuscript, which may have been written before Ferdinand David made his suggestions.

September 22, 2021, 12:31 PM · I like the Leopold Auer edition published by Carl Fischer.
Edited: September 22, 2021, 3:07 PM · If your daughter has a teacher, the teacher should select the edition.
In lieu of that I suggest looking at the various editions of the solo part available (for free) at
Simply google: "IMSLP Mendelssohn Violin Concerto"

It has more than 72 years since I was working on it after finding it in an album of 10 violin concertos at my local music store for $1.25. Unfortunately that publication went out of print at least 50 years ago (it had 10 of the world's favorite violin concertos including piano accompaniment).

The reasons I had through the years for selecting editions to study music from have been

1. the print layout in terms of how well it fit the way I sight read music.
2. the bowings and the fingering indications
3. who had edited it - although that was not that important to me

I did not like working from unedited urtext editions because I needed as much help as I could get (from the editor) since I never had a teacher after my 12th birthday.

September 22, 2021, 12:56 PM · Thanks, I have a message out to her teacher, was just interested in hearing. He is often pretty open...
September 22, 2021, 3:42 PM · Bruce Berg has an edition.

I've never worked on the Mendelssohn E Minor VC and probably never will, but Bruce's edition of the Bruch G Minor VC was quite helpful in terms of fingerings and bowings.

September 22, 2021, 3:49 PM · Several options (which may be too much for your student): a definitive look at the real text. That is a bit tricky here, as Mendelssohn did what amounts to two versions, and the final one was doctored up a lot by Ferdinand David. So while we may think we know what Mendelssohn finally approved, there may be hidden clues of what he was originally aiming at.

The next idea is a critical edition that lays the ambiguities all out. You may still have some choices to make then, but you'll feel intelligent.

Then, what most students see early on: a version blessed by a great soloist and/or teacher, with bowings and fingerings that will make it speak well without too much trouble. This last is what you'll probably be recommended, unless your teacher has some strong opinions that can be dropped on to a good Urtext like what Henle normally manages to do.

September 22, 2021, 6:03 PM · Greetings,
there are certainly a lot of less than salubrious editions out there. If it was me, these days I would choose the Henle Verlaine Edition (Edited by Ozim) and/or the Igor Oistrakh edition. Auer is not to be sneezed at even now!)
September 22, 2021, 6:07 PM · I haven't looked at the Auer edition very carefully, but (a dangerous game to get into) he was a pupil of Joachim, and so very distantly a grand-pupil of Mendelssohn.

In addition, his own student, Heifetz, played the (&*$@ out of that concerto.

September 22, 2021, 6:18 PM · I am personally not a fan of edited editions. I prefer to come up with my own fingering/bowing solutions. It takes something away for me if that part is done for me.
September 22, 2021, 6:36 PM · The Auer replaces a repeat of a melody in the first movement with an octaves version towards the end. I really like this edit.
September 22, 2021, 6:46 PM · He says International.... ordered in time for her 13th birthday on Tuesday. Would still like suggestions of recordings to have her watch!
September 22, 2021, 7:09 PM · There is a video of Grumiaux playing it, but he makes some mistakes. However, it's absolutely beautiful to listen to regardless.
September 22, 2021, 7:34 PM · If you both like drinking coffee, the Heifetz will knock your socks off. There is also a very fine version on a Young Persons' Concert with Lennie and a very young James Buswell.
September 22, 2021, 7:35 PM · Greetings,
in my opinion, that video of Grumiaux is one of the most beautiful performances in violin history (of the many…) .
All the oldies are great Milstein, Heifetz, Oistrakh, Zimmerman, Francescatti, haendel, menuhin
You may not like the sound of Szigeti, but he thought more deeply about things than just about any violinist on the planet and is always worth careful study. His books frequently quote excerpts from the Mendelssohn and are often quite an eye opener.
Of the modern players I have not heard , I am guessing Hadelich, Fischer, Vengerov and Zimmerman would be my choices.

Edited: September 22, 2021, 9:32 PM · Hadelich is probably the best modern one IMO. His spiccato, vibrato, and tone are all great, and the octave higher last detache run before the thirds (1st mvt, near the end) that he does sounds more interesting and dramatic than the edited version (it got removed because the dedicatee had trouble playing a high detache run).

Also, check out this video.

Edited: September 22, 2021, 8:09 PM · I know this doesn't count as a video performance, but Ysaye's recording is nice too.

Edited: September 23, 2021, 10:04 AM · The last time I worked on the Mendelssohn was last year, during the virus forced sabbatical. Instead of buying a new copy, I just used the relatively unedited version in the Dover full score reprint. As already mentioned, what passes for the final, authoritative version is Ferdinand David's revision. The original manuscript is interesting. The violin cue line in the piano accompaniment book is also usually unedited.
Edited: September 23, 2021, 6:30 PM · I really like Nigel Kennedy’s recording with the English Chamber Orchestra circa 1988. Not sure if Tasmin Little or Yuzuko Horigome recorded this concerto but I would be interested in hearing their interpretations too.

In Mendelssohn’s music I hear a strong affinity for Mozart in the drama that he created.

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