Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I couldn't name one

Using 1875 as a starting point, I am recalling that in 1877, Karl Goldmark composed a violin concerto that is still being played today.  In 1878 Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky composed his, then that same year (1878) Johannes Brahms also came out with his concerto, in 1880 Camille Saint Saens composed his third violin concerto, in the same year came Antonin Dvorak’s in a minor, in 1898 Julius Conus’, in 1904 Alexander Glazunov’s, in 1904 Jean Sibelius’, in 1910 Edward Elgar’s, in 1916 Karol Szymanowski’s, in 1917 Serge Prokofiev’s first, in 1931 Igor Stravinsky’s, in 1935 Alban Berg’s, again in 1935 Serge Prokofiev’s second concerto, in 1938 Bela Bartok’s second, in 1939 Benjamin Britten’s, in 1939 William Walton’s, in 1939, Samuel Barber’s, in 1940 Aram Khachaturian’s, in 1945 Erich Korngold’s, and finally in 1948, Dmitri Shostakovich’s still often-played first violin concerto.  That’s twenty one concertos which entered the standard repertoire (and never left it) in a span of 71 years.  I am trying to think of one violin concerto which has been written after 1948 which has entered the standard repertoire and I simply can’t name even one.  Not one in 63 years. 

1 comment:

  1. In 1993, Nicholas Maw wrote a very difficult violin concerto for Joshua Bell which Bell no longer plays - Bell said the piece is so hard it would take him a week to relearn and it just wasn't worth the trouble.