How to Build a Classical CD Collection

19. Mendelssohn & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos

Vivaldi's Four Seasons, concertos for solo violin and orchestra, will be already familiar. By 1844, 103 years after Vivaldi's death, the concerto had assumed a very different form, while, with the demon violinist Paganini and his contemporaries, technical accomplishment had reached new heights. Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, was written in 1844 and first performed in Leipzig in the following year. There are a number of original features in the concerto, with its composed cadenza in the first movement, its romantic slow movement and its conclusion of fairy elegance. Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with which Mendelssohn's work is generously coupled on our recommended disc, was the product of a later generation, a demanding and adventurous work rejected as unplayable at first by its dedicatee, Leopold Auer. It is now a standard work of the violin concerto repertoire.

Recommended recording
Mendelssohn & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos, with the violinist Takako Nishizaki and the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra under Kenneth Jean. Naxos 8.550153

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