The Lark Ascending: Violin Showpieces

Buy + Add To Wish List + £12.99 - Few in stock

Shipping time: In stock | Expected delivery 5-7 working days
Violin Showpieces

Mozart's Adagio in E major for violin and orchestra, K. 261,was completed in 1776 in Salzburg. It was intended for the use of AntonioBrunetti, the court violinist, who had found the slow movement of Mozart's A major Violin Concerto too artificial andhad asked for a movement to replace it. Unlike the original slow movement ofthe concerto it is scored for flutes instead of oboes, with a pair of horns andthe customary string section, and in itself offers music of considerable charmand invention.

The two Romances forviolin and orchestra were earlier works of Beethoven. The F major Romance was written in 1798 andthe G major work apparently in1801-2, possibly as slow movements for a Cmajor violin concerto that had been started some years earlier, butwas never to be finished. The Romances werepublished, the a major in 1803 in Leipzig and the F major in Vienna in 1805,after being refused by the distinguished firm of Breitkopf & Hartel, towhich they had been offered. They both have a perfection of their own andremain a significant part of the solo violin concert repertoire.

Vaughan Williams wrote his romance for violin and orchestra, The Lark Ascending, in 1914 and revised itafter the war. It was dedicated to the violinist Marie Hall, who performed itat the London conference of the British Music Society in June 1921 with theBritish Symphony Orchestra under Adrian Boult. Based on a poem by GeorgeMeredith, the work is rhapsodic in mood, allowing the solo violin to soar abovea rural English landscape, aware of what lies below, but pursuing its owncourse ever higher. The work has no overt programme but expresses the ideals ofthe English pastoral tradition in its expansion of initial pentatonic thematicmaterial. There is an inevitable air of nostalgia in this work and in othercompositions of Vaughan Williams at this period, when, after the horrors of warwhich he himself had experienced, he returns to a pastoral idyll, a peace andserenity that were now destroyed.

Saint-Sa?½ns added very significantly to violin repertoire, with threeconcertos for the instrument, in addition to a number of shorter works forviolin and orchestra. The most popular of these last is the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Opus 28,written in 1863, during his brief period as a piano teacher at the EcoleNiedermeyer. Saint-Sa?½ns dedicated this, as well as his first and thirdconcertos, to the Spanish virtuoso Pablo Sarasate. The Introduction and Rondo capriccioso and theCaprice andalous of 1904 makeconsiderable use of Spanish rhythms and turns of phrase, something to beexpected in the second of these two works. The same Spanish element informs thewell known Havanaise, written in1887.

Jules Massenet's Meditation fromthe opera Tha?»s, written in 1894,was arranged for violin and piano by the Belgian violinist Marsick, pupil andsuccessor of Massart at the Paris Conservatoire. Based on the work of AnatoleFrance, Tha?»s, typically enough,shows the conversion of 1he four century Egyptian courtesan Thais toChristianity by the monk Athanael, who himself falls victim to her charms,while she, following the example of other Massenet heroines, finds redemption,in this case as a nun.

Having left the Paris Conservatoire in 1895, Ravel returned two yearslater to study with Gabriel Faure. He nevertheless failed to win any prize forcomposition, an achievement that was obligatory for the continuance of studies.

His attempts to win the Prix de Rome in successive years brought no result,while he was at the same time winning considerable success outside the academicworld. This success continued, while the scandal of his ultimate failure to winthe Prix de Rome in 1904 led to the resignation of the Director of theConservatoire and his replacement by Faure, a composer of more progressivetendencies. In the years after the 1914 -1918 war, during which he served as adriver, Ravel moved out of Paris. His compositions of this period include aviolin sonata, a sonata for violin and cello in memory of Debussy and the famousTzigane, written in 1924 for theHungarian violinist Jelly d'Aranyi, whose own improvised additions the composeradded to the completed work.

Ravel reportedly remarked that he had no idea what she was doing, asshe played the piece, but he liked it. The Tziganeremains a show-piece of the violin repertoire, whether in theversion for violin and orchestra or in its original form, for the violin andpiano, designed by the composer to test the musical and technical ability ofany performer and later described by one of Ravel's friends as a violinist'sminefield. The work captures the spirit of gypsy improvisation, its artsuccessfully concealing art.

The Spanish violinist Pablo Sarasate studied in Paris and at the age offifteen started on a concert career that was to bring him fame throughoutEurope and the Americas. Composers who wrote for him include Bruch, and hisfellow- violinists Joachim and Wieniawski. For his own use he wrote a number ofworks for violin of which his Gypsy piece, Zigeunerweisen,Opus 20, was published in Leipzig in 1878.

Disc: 1
Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
1 Adagio in E major, K. 261
2 Romance No. 2 in F major, Op. 50
3 The Lark Ascending
4 Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Op. 28
5 Meditation from Thais
6 Tzigane
7 Havanaise, Op. 83
8 Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
Write your own review
You must log in to be able to write a review
If you like The Lark Ascending: Violin Showpieces, please tell your friends! You can easily share this page directly on Facebook, X and via e-mail below.

You may also like...

Classical Chill
Classical Heat 8520102 01/01/2002 £18.99
Few in stock Buy +
BEST OF OPERA, VOL. 4 8554682 04/01/2000 £12.99
Few in stock Buy +
SAINT-SAENS 8556675 12/01/1999 £12.99
Out of stock
RAVEL 8556673 12/01/1999 £12.99
Image Image Image
My account
My basket: 0 items