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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:
  • 08 JUL 2015
    RCM, London
    Royal College of Music Philharmonic
  • 30 APR 2015
    Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Joseph Swensen, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 May - City Halls Glasgow, Scotland
    2 May - Inverness, Scotland
  • 25 APR 2015
    Hampshire County Youth Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    2 May -
  • 22 APR 2015
    BBC PO on Tour
    BBC Philharmonic
    Elena Urioste, violin; Paul Daniel, conductor
  • 18 APR 2015
    Potsdam, Germany
    Sinfonieorchester Collegium Musicum Potsdam
    Andreas Knut, conductor

    Other Dates:
    19 April - Berlin, Germany
  • 17 APR 2015
    Colyton Grammar School, UK
    Colyton Grammar School
    David House, conductor
  • 01 APR 2015
    Meiningen, Germany
    Meininger Hofkapelle
    Hugo Ticciati; Clark Rundell, conductor
  • 27 JAN 2015
    Royal Welsh College
    Royal Welsh College Symphony Orchestra
  • 24 JAN 2015
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA
    USC Thornton Symphony
    Glenn Dicterow, violin; Carl St. Clair, conductor
  • 08 NOV 2014
    Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Manchester
    Manchester University Music Society Chamber Orchestra
    Katie MacDonald; Mark Heron, conductor
  • 24 AUG 2014
    Edinburgh International Festival
    Usher Hall, Edinburgh
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    John Axelrod, conductor
  • 26 JUL 2014
    Rottenburg, Germany
    Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz
    Kyoko Tanino; Vasilis Christopoulos, conductor
  • 17 JUL 2014
    Berlin, Germany
    Symphonisches Orchester der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    Constantin Alex, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18 July - Berlin, Germany
  • 24 MAY 2014
    Medina Theatre Newport, Isle of Wight
    Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra
    Shona Douglas; Jonathan Butcher, conductor
  • 09 MAY 2014
  • 23 MAR 2014
    Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts, Kent
    Bromley Youth Music Trust
  • 19 MAR 2014
    St Paul's School, London
    St Paul's School Chamber Orchestra
    Tom Evans, conductor
  • 01 MAR 2014
    Chester, UK
    Chester Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 28 FEB 2014
    Ulster Hall, Belfast
    Ulster Orchestra
  • 27 FEB 2014
    Linz, Austria
    Bruckner-Orchester Linz
    Robert McDuffie; Dennis Russel Davies, conductor
  • 22 FEB 2014
    Leeds Town Hall
    BBC Philharmonic
    Paul Daniel, conductor
  • 20 FEB 2014
    Ian Naylors, conductor
  • 07 FEB 2014
    Dortmund, Germany
    Studentenorchester Dortmund
    Fabian Kircher; Holger Ellwanger, conductor
  • 30 JAN 2014
    ADHOC Ensemble
  • 25 JAN 2014
    Town Hall, Ayr, Scotland
    Scottish Opera
    Joel-Hornak, conductor
  • 13 JAN 2014
    Westminster School, London
    Westminster School
    Guy Hopkins, conductor
  • 16 NOV 2013
    Bregenz, Austria
    Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg
    David Wroe, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17 November - Bregenz, Austria
  • 03 NOV 2013
    San Diego, CA
    San Diego Symphony
    Augustin Hadelich; Jahta Ling, conductor

    Other Dates:
    4-8 November - San Diego, CA
  • 31 OCT 2013
    Arlington, VA
    National Symphony Orchestra
    Jennifer Koh; Kristian Jarvi, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1,2 November - Arlington, VA
  • 30 OCT 2013
    Opera de Dijon, Paris; France
    Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    Jaap van Zweden; Hilary Hahn, conductor

...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,7/26/2007
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