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summer_breeze

Schumann violin concerto

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in the grand scheme of violin concertos, at what level would you rank this? Is is about the level of mendellsohn or harder, or even easier. From listening to it, i don't think it sounds hard, but i am sure someone here has played it. So if you have any info that would really help me out.

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I'd put it on the Technical Level of the Beethoven concerto. Not too difficult, but there's a lot of music there! I've played through it a few times. I have NO IDEA why it isn't in the standard repertoire! Its such a wonderful piece!

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It is one of my favorites! I haven't played it, but it is on my list to learn. I can't understand, either, why it isn't considered standard repertoire.

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quote:

Originally posted by bubba:

I can't understand, either, why it isn't considered standard repertoire.

It's long, it's very repetitive -- it's hard to pull off in a "cohesive" sense... therefore, hard musically.

But I'm attempting the piece this coming week!!! It is my goal to perform both the Schumann Piano Concerto and the Schumann Violin Concerto with orchestra in the same concert. smile.gif

Anybody know of a really good recording of the Schumann?

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The Schumann concerto -- and the Menotti concerto, for that matter -- are both direly in need of an editor, in the literary sense. wink.gif

The material in both concertos is gorgeous, but both are repetitive, not always violinistic, and badly needs tightening up. I believe Joshua Bell actually made minor changes to the Schumann when he recorded the work, on the grounds that the composer would have wanted X rather than what he wrote if he'd had a violinist providing comments when he was composing.

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Actually, every recordings of the Schumann concerto I have heard contain some degrees of "retouching", especially in some of the very awkward passages in the outer movements.

Kulenkampff's (1937. The world premier recording) recording contains the most drastic revisions. Georg Schunemann and Paul Hindemith collaborated in revision that included some trasposition of solo lines and making awkward passages more "violinistic." They clearly overstepped the line, but it is interesting to hear the recording.

Others did subtler revisions, but most of them did some kind of touch-ups. It is nothing unheard-of in this concerto. Undoubtedly, Schumann himself would have made some revisions had he lived longer and saner life (he went insane immediately following the completion of this piece and died two years later in 1856, never to recover from insanity).

Toscha

[This message has been edited by Toscha (edited 05-10-2001).]

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Henryk Szeryng's recording of the Schumann is the finest I have heard. It was well recorded and is one of the best performances Szeryng ever put on record. The recording which I had (lent it out and they lost it) was CD 434 339-2 on Mercury Living Presence.

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The Josh Bell recording is also worth a listen, Schumann is his fave composer...

I read that the concerto is not played often because it is "structurally weak" I personally like the Sonatas he wote for violin and piano and the fanatsie for violin and orch. The string quartettes are so wonderfull too!

You can get the out of print Szeryng recording at cdchoice.com still probably.

[This message has been edited by Violinerrrz (edited 05-17-2001).]

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The Schumann is probably my favorite concerto (if there is such a thing, which I doubt). I, too, find it amazing that it isn’t in the standard repertoire. Of the recordings I own, I think Bell’s is best, followed by Szerying as a close runner-up. In the second tier, there’s Kulenkampff, Kremer and Wanami (possibly in that order). Storgards and Rybar actually manage to make this sound like a bad concerto (to my ears), so I haven’t been able to listen to them more than once each. Maybe I’ll revisit them one day out of curiousity.... Zehetmair’s version is hard to find, but I saw him do it in Baltimore in February. He did a decent job of it, but it wasn’t quite “it.” [side note: When I gushed rather awkwardly afterwards (professional musicians make me nervous) that it was my favorite and thanked him for actually playing it, he said it was his fave, too. So we have at least a couple of champions out there....]

Though I can’t verify for sure, I believe Toscha must be right about most, if not all, the versions having been “messed with” (that’s a technical term wink.gif ) to at least some degree. Apparently, some parts are not “playable” as written. According to Bell, Schumann wanted Joachim to revise the concerto, as he did the Brahms, but Joachim didn’t seem to take an interest in this little project.

Also, here’s some weird info that I read somewhere, but take it with a grain of salt cause I’m not sure about the source or the accuracy (plus, I’m vague on the details): Turns out that Joachim (or was it Clara?) wanted to destroy the score. Though, thankfully, that never happened, it was about 100 years before anyone played it. Access to it was barred until a distant relative of Schumann, a violinist, said that she had a dream in which Schumann told her of it, and so she dug it up and insisted on getting it out. Hmmm...feel free to make of that what you will.

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I have Joshua Bell's recording also. I can't say I care for the piece all that much; I find it a little overly repetitious. I really like a few minutes of it, but listening to the whole thing is a little tiring, IMHO. I don't have anything against Schumann (I love his songs and quartets), but it's not my favorite piece. It has some great moments, but I don't think they really add up.

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Got to disagree about Rybar. His version is not my favorite, but still definitely worth listening to. He is not exactly a grand virtuoso, but always played with fine taste, if slightly weak in terms of technical matters.

I am rather surprised that nobody has mentioned the young Menuhin recording (1938). While it is not the most sensitive and colorful version (sometimes gets a bit overheated), it certainly makes up with plenty of fire and emotion.

Overall, I like Szeryng's, but still regret that somebody like Busch or Enescu did not record the work.

Toscha

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