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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
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    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:
  • 31 MAY 2019
    Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, AB, CA
    Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
    Simone Porter; Alexander Prior, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 June - Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, AB, CA
  • 27 APR 2019
    Shriver Hall, Baltimore, MD
    Hopkins Symphony Orchestra
    Irina Muresanu; Jed Gaylin, conductor
  • 29 MAR 2019
    Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver, CO
    Colorado Symphony
    Augustin Hadelich ; Brett Mitchell, conductor

    Other Dates:
    30,31 March - Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver, CO
  • 16 MAR 2019
    Saroyan Theater, Fresno, CA
    Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra
    Sirena Huang; Rei Hotoda, conductor
  • 15 MAR 2019
    Cincinatti Music Hall, OH
    Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra
    Augustin Hadelich, violin; Louis Langrée, conductor

    Other Dates:
    16 March - Cincinatti Music Hall, OH
  • 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
  • 23 FEB 2019
    Cannon Center, Memphis, TN
    Memphis Symphony Orchestra
    Charles Dimmick; Keith Lockhart, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24 February - GPAC, Memphis, TN
  • 21 FEB 2019
    American Festival
    Detroit, MI
    Detroit Symphony
    Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy, violin; Leonard Slatkin, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 February - Detroit, MI
  • 14 FEB 2019
    Oslo Konserthus, Oslo, Norway
    Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
    Sonoko Miriam Welde, violin; Joshua Weilerstein, 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
  • 17 NOV 2018
    Old Cabell Hall, Charlottesville, VA
    Charlottesville Symphony
    Daniel Sender; Damon Gupton, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18 November - Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, Charlottesville, VA
  • 17 NOV 2018
    De Geerhallen, Norrköping, Sweden
    Norrköpings Symfoniorkester
    Johan Dalene, violin; Daniel Blendulf, conductor
  • 16 NOV 2018
    Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK
    Sinfonia ViVA
    Aoife Miskelly, soprano; Chloe Hanslip; violin; Frank Zielhorst, conductor
  • 13 NOV 2018
    Mentor Performing Arts Center, Mentor, OH
    Cleveland Youth Orchestra
    Celina Bethoux; Vinay Parameswaran, conductor

    Other Dates:
    16 November - Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH
  • 31 OCT 2018
    David Geffen Hall, New York, NY
    New York Philharmonic
    Frank Huang, violin; Juraj Valcuha , conductor

    Other Dates:
    1,3 November - David Geffen Hall, New York, NY
  • 28 OCT 2018
    Lübeck, Germany
    Philharmonisches Orchester Lübeck
    Sophia Jaffé, violin; Marco Comin, conductor

    Other Dates:
    29 October - Lübeck, Germany
  • 20 OCT 2018
    Rialto Theater, Tacoma, WA
    Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
    Jennifer Frautschi; Sarah Ioannides, conductor
  • 13 OCT 2018
    Strathmore Music Center, North Bethesda, MD
    National Philharmonic
    Bella Hristova; Piotr Gajewski, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14 October - Strathmore Music Center, North Bethesda, MD
  • 12 OCT 2018
    Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, NY
    Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
    Paul Huang, violin; Joann Falletta, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 October - Kleinahns Music Hall, Buffalo, NY
  • 12 OCT 2018
    Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, NY
    Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    13 October - Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, NY
  • 06 OCT 2018
    Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, WI
    Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra
    Kelly Hall-Tompkins; Howard Hsu, conductor
  • 05 OCT 2018
    Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Plymouth, MI
    Michigan Philharmonic
    Danielle Belen; Nan Washburn, conductor
  • 29 SEP 2018
    Skyview Concert Hall, Vancouver, WA
    Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
    Mayuko Kamio; Salvador Brotons, conductor

    Other Dates:
    30 September - Skyview Concert Hall, Vancouver, WA
  • 16 SEP 2018
    Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, PA
    Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Orchestra
    Andres Cardenes, conductor
  • 16 SEP 2018
    The Lensic, Santa Fe, NM
    Santa Fe Symphony
    Sirena Huang; Guillermo Figeroa, conductor
  • 14 SEP 2018
    DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids, MI
    Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra
    Karen Gomyo, violin; Marcelo Lehninger, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15 September - DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids, MI
  • 15 AUG 2018
    Valley Performing Arts Center, Northridge, CA
    Colburn Orchestra
    Simone Porter, violin; Stéphane Denève, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 August - The National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland
  • 11 AUG 2018
    Breckenridge Music Festival
    Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge, CO
    Breckenridge Festival Orchestra
    Nathan Olson; Steven Schick, conductor
  • 11 AUG 2018
    Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd, MN
    Lakes Area Music Festival
    Suliman Takeli; Christian Reif, conductor

    Other Dates:
    12 August - Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd, MN
  • 20 JUL 2018
    Grant Park Music Festival
    Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, IL
    Grant Park Music Festival
    Paul Huang; Markus Stenz, conductor

    Other Dates:
    21 July - Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, IL

...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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