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Samuel Barber

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Concerto for Violin (1939)
G Schirmer Inc
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
22 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Alternate Orchestration
Violin; piano reduction
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Programme Note
Samuel Barber Concerto for Violin (1939)
  • Notes on the New Edition:
    download note
    download PDF
    Commentary by David Flachs, Director of Production, G. Schirmer, Inc.


Composer Note:

The first movement — Allegro molto moderato — begins with a lyrical first subject announced at once by the solo violin, without any orchestral introduction. The movement as a whole has, perhaps, more the character of sonata than concerto form. The second movement — Andante sostenuto — is introduced by an extended oboe solo. The violin enters with a contrasting and rhapsodic theme, after which it repeats the oboe melody of the beginning. The last movement, a perpetual motion, exploits the more brilliant and virtuoso characteristics of the violin.

— Samuel Barber

  • Ensemble
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    James Buswell, violin
    Marin Alsop
  • G. Schirmer:
  • Ensemble
    New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Cleveland Orchestra / Philadelphia Orchestra
    Isaac Stern, violin; John Browning, piano
    Leonard Bernstein / George Szell / Eugene Ormandy / Thomas Schippers
    Sony Essential Classics:
  • Ensemble
    Brno Philharmonic Orchestra
    Music Sales :
  • Ensemble
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Steuart Bedford
  • Ensemble
    London Symphony Orchestra
    André Previn
    Deutsche Grammophon:
  • 24 JAN 2019
    Collins & Tall Auditorium, Tenafly, NJ
    Tenafly High School Orchestra
    Sophia Motai; Jim Millar, conductor
  • 04 FEB 2019
    Teatro Principal de Vitoria, Spain
    Orquesta de Euskadi
    Robert Trevino , conductor

    Other Dates:
    6 February - Palacio Euskalduna Bilbao, Spain
    7 February - Auditorio Kursaal, San Sebastian, Spain
    5 February - Auditorio Baluarte, Pamplona, Spain
    8 February - Auditorio Kursaal de San Sebastian, Spain
  • 10 FEB 2019
    Lippes Hall, SUNY of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
    Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra
    Matt Cone, Performing First Movement Only; Ansgarius Aylward, conductor
  • 10 FEB 2019
    Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Portland, OR
    Jewish Community Orchestra of Portland
    Paul Lee, Performing First Movement Only; Donald L. Appert, conductor
  • 14 FEB 2019
    Oslo Konserthus, Oslo, Norway
    Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
    Sonoko Miriam Welde, violin; Joshua Weilerstein, conductor
  • 17 FEB 2019
    Singletary Center for the Performing Arts, Lexington, KY
    Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra
    Marcello Cormio, conductor
  • 21 FEB 2019
    American Festival
    Detroit, MI
    Detroit Symphony
    Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy, violin; Leonard Slatkin, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 February - Detroit, MI
  • 23 FEB 2019
    Cannon Center, Memphis, TN
    Memphis Symphony Orchestra
    Charles Dimmick; Keith Lockhart, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24 February - GPAC, Memphis, TN
  • 01 MAR 2019
    Holland Center for the Performing Arts, Omaha, NE
    Omaha Symphony
    Stefan Jackiw; James Feddeck, conductor

    Other Dates:
    2 March - Holland Center for the Performing Arts, Omaha, NE
  • 02 MAR 2019
    California Theatre, San Jose, CA
    Symphony Silicon Valley
    Anne Akiko Meyers; John Nelson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    3 March - California Theatre, San Jose, CA

...when you hear the piece played with such finesse as it was here, you appreciate that Barber's generously proportioned lyrical themes possess a subtlety and suppleness that take on a particular poignancy when treated with the sort of innate sensitivity that Ehnes's playing radiates. More than that, Alsop was alert to the piquancy fo orchestral texture that lends the score its occassional tang, be it in lemony woodwind or brass colouring, or in the nicely bracing astringency of the piano. While melody is at the core of the concerto, Alsop's arresting build-ups of dissonance at the climaxes and Ehnes's sparkling virtuosity in the finale showed the concerto's expressive facets in compelling breadth.
Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph,26/07/2007
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