Of all the classical composers I've listened to and studied, Ludwig is my favorite and combine that with my love of the violin and tonight's LNMC will feature Arabella Steinbacher playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major. There is something about the strings that touches me, emotionally and when you add in Beethoven's harmonic brilliance - well - you have something remarkable.
From the opening timpani strokes of its brooding and titanic first movement, to its hushed and poignant slow movement, to its celebratory finale, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto remains unequalled in the history of classical music. It is that first movement alone that would mark it as the greatest example of its kind. Listeners should seek out a recording that uses the cadenzas that Beethoven composed for his transcription of the piece as a piano concerto. (The cadenza is a solo part of a concerto traditionally improvised by the player.) For their recordings, several conductors and soloists have transcribed these piano cadenzas for the violin and timpani (and in one case, for violin, piano, and timpani). In the already-massive first movement, Beethoven’s long cadenza adds both a severity and jauntiness to the generally contemplative atmosphere.
Choosing the greatest violin concerto of all time is a very subjective thing for sure. On any given day, I could prefer to listen to either Brahms, Mendelssohn or Tchaikovsky's violin concerto and consider them the best of the best.
Do you have a favorite violin concerto or piece of classical music?