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Eminent Interpreters of the Beethoven Violin Concerto

Module by: C.M. Sunday. E-mail the author

Summary: Historical table of interpreters of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, with links to photos and bios of artists: Vieuxtemps, Joachim, Sarasate, Wilhelmj, Auer, Flesch, Ysaÿe, Hubay, Kreisler, Szigeti, Galamian, Stern, Perlman.


Henry Vieuxtemps (1820-1881) ["…Vieuxtemps had revived (the Beethoven concerto) in Vienna in 1834, seven years after its composer’s death, and was to play again there eight years later, in 1842."]

Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) ["…Joachim also championed Beethoven's violin concerto to the extent that the Beethoven became cornerstone in the standard violin repertoire."]

Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908)

August Wilhelmj (1845-1908) [Wilhelmj served as concertmaster for Wagner.]

Leopold Auer (1845–1930) ["No reviser needs to put any indications for nuance and shading in Beethoven. He was quite able to attend to all that himself. There is no composer who shows such refinement of nuance. You need only to take his quartets or these same sonatas to convince yourself of the fact."]

Carl Flesch (1853-1915) ["…his performances of concerti by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms stood out with an inimitable authority that made them uniquely inspiring."]

Eugène Ysaÿe (1858–1931) ["He was, after hearing Joachim's interpretation of the Beethoven Concerto [Sound files], convinced of its musical value, but continued to study it until his thirty-first year, developing a truly personal rendition which, though many disagreed with its freedoms, formed a compelling musical statement."]

Jeno Hubay (1858-1937)

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) ["…he also… published numerous arrangements of early and modern music (Corelli's "La Folia," Tartini's "The Devil's Trill," Dvorák's "Slavonic Dances," Granados's "Spanish Dance," Albéniz's "Tango" et al.), and prepared cadenzas for the Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos."]

Jozsef Szigeti (1892-1973) ["…it was his Philadelphia début in 1925, with the Beethoven Concerto conducted by Stokowski, that sealed his fame."]

Ivan Galamian (1903-1981) ["Ivan Galamian was one of the greatest violin teachers of the 20th Century."]

Isaac Stern (1920-2001)

Itzak Perlman (1945- )

Other important dates:

  • 1806 First performance, Franz Clement
  • 1812 Second performance, Berlin
  • 1828 Third performance, Pierre Baillot
  • 1855 Joachim performance, Louis Spohr remark
  • 1963 Szigeti edition

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