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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:
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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:
  • 03 MAY 2018
    Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN
    Minnesota Orchestra
    Sharon Bezaly, flute; Osmo Vänskä, conductor

    Other Dates:
    4,5 May - Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN
  • 29 MAR 2018
    Artis-Naples Hayes Hall, Naples, FL
    Naples Philharmonic

    Other Dates:
    30 March - Artis-Naples Hayes Hall, Naples, FL
  • 03 MAR 2018
    Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, Houston, TX
    Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra
    Jacqueline Audas; Joshua Hong, conductor
  • 17 FEB 2018
    Century II Concert Hall, Wichita, KS
    Wichita Symphony Orchestra
    Daniel Hege, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18 February - Century II Concert Hall, Wichita, KS
  • 14 FEB 2018
    Eissey Theater, West Palm, FL
    Atlantic Classical Orchestra
    Sirena Huang; David Amado, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15 February - Waxlax Center for the Performing Arts, Vero Beach, FL
    16 February - Lyric Theater, Stuart, FL
  • 14 DEC 2017
    Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Benjamin Beilman, violin; Karina Canellakis, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15 December - City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow
  • 08 DEC 2017
    Sarasota Music Festival
    Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, FL
    Sarasota Orchestra
    Benjamin Beilman, Elina Vähälä; Larry Rachleff, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9,10 December; 7,8 April 2018 - Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, FL
    6 April 2018 - Neel Performing Arts Center, Bradenton, FL
  • 26 OCT 2017
    Chicago Symphony Center, Chicago IL
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    James Ehnes, violin; James Gaffigan, conductor

    Other Dates:
    27 October - Chicago Symphony Center, Chicago IL
  • 01 JUL 2017
    West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, UK
    City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
    Joo Yeon Sir, violin; Robert Hodge, conductor
  • 01 JUL 2017
    Koko Booth Amphitheater, Regency Park, Cary, NC
    North Carolina Symphony
    Paul Huang, violin; Gemma New, conductor
  • 01 JUL 2017
    Royal Academy of Music, London, UK
    Royal Academy of Music Junior Department Orchestra
  • 23 JUN 2017
    Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston, TX
    Houston Symphony Orchestra
    Annelle Gregory; Robert Franz, conductor
  • 16 JUN 2017
    Uihlein Hall, Milwaukee, WI
    Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
    Larry Rachleff, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17 June - Uihlein Hall, Milwaukee, WI
  • 08 JUN 2017
    Magdeburg, Germany
    Magdeburgische Philharmonie
    Isabelle van Keulen, violin; Kimbo Ishii, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9 June - Magdeburg, Germany
  • 03 JUN 2017
    Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, Houston, TX
    Houston Symphony Orchestra
    Rachel Ostler; Daniel Hege, conductor
  • 23 MAY 2017
    Oak Park and River Forest HS Auditorium, Oak Park, IL
    Oak Park and River Forest High School
    Benjamin Srajer
  • 13 MAY 2017
    Crouse Hinds Concert Theater, Syracuse, NY
    Philippe Quint; Lawrence Loh, conductor
  • 29 APR 2017
    Leipzig, Germany
    MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig
    Nemanja Radulović, Violin; Karsten Januschke, conductor
  • 24 MAR 2017
    Solingen, Germany
    Bergische Symphoniker
    Rika Tanimoto, Violin; Peter Kuhn, conductor

    Other Dates:
    25 March - Marl, Germany
    26 March - Remscheid, Germany
  • 15 FEB 2017
    Lighthouse Poole, Dorset
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Kirill Karabits, conductor

    Other Dates:
    16 February - University Great Hall, Exeter
  • 12 FEB 2017
    Bing Center, Palo Alto, California, United States of America
    Bruckner Orchester Linz
    Robert McDuffie, Violin; Dennis Russell Davies, conductor
  • 21 JAN 2017
    Northeim, Germany
    Akademische Orchester Vereinigung Göttingen
    Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 January - Göttingen, Germany
  • 16 JAN 2017
    Westminster School, London
    Westminster School
  • 13 JAN 2017
    Corn Exchange, Bedford, UK
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Min Lee, violin; Domingo Hindoyan, conductor
  • 18 DEC 2016
    Fort Regent Leisure Centre, Jersey, Channel Islands
    Jersey Symphony Orchestra
  • 30 NOV 2016
    Holywell Music Room, Oxford, UK
    Oxford University Sinfonietta
    Freddie Meyers, conductor
  • 27 OCT 2016
    City Halls Glasgow, UK
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    Valeriy Sokolov, Violin; Nicholas Carter, conductor

    Other Dates:
    28 October - Town Hall, Ayr, UK
  • 27 SEP 2016
    Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, UK
    BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    Chloe Hanslip, violin ; Xian Zhang, conductor
  • 16 SEP 2016
    Oval Space, Bethnal Green, London
    The Little Orchestra
    Sean Shibe, violin; Nicholas Little, conductor
  • 10 JUL 2016
    Berlin, Germany
    Junges Orchester der Freie Universität Berlin
    Erin Elisabeth White, Violin; Antoine Rebstein, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17 July - Berlin, Germany

...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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