Beethoven: Violin Concerto

Beethoven’s only completed violin concerto is today one of the most often performed and recorded in the violin repertoire. However, as with many other works which are now highly regarded, its premiere was not an unqualified success. Written towards the end of 1806 for its first performance on 23rd December of that year, the solo … Read more

Brahms: Double Concerto

The Double Concerto is Brahms’ last major orchestral work, written in the summer of 1887 and first performed on the 18th October that year, with the composer himself conducting the cellist Robert Hausmann and violinist Joseph Joachim. Hausmann was a member of the Joachim Quartet and Brahms’ favourite cellist. The Second Cello Sonata was composed … Read more

Haydn: Cello Concerto No.2 in D major

Haydn composed his cello concerto no. 2 in D major in 1783 for Antonín Kraft, a cellist of Prince Nikolaus’s Esterházy Orchestra. From 1761 to 1790 Haydn worked as Kapellmeister to the princely court of the Esterházys where he led a rather isolated life resulting in the composition of an enormous number of works. During … Read more

Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor Op. 61

Elgar’s violin concerto is dedicated to the Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962). It was written in 1909-10, between the first and second symphonies, and first performed in November 1910 with Kreisler as soloist and Elgar himself conducting. It was not Elgar’s first attempt at a violin concerto: he had started to compose one in 1890, … Read more

Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez

This concerto is a remarkable feat of musical composition, as Rodrigo was blind from the age of 3, a pianist, and did not even play the guitar! Pitting a solo guitar against the full force of an orchestra is also fairly unique instrumentation, and it is remarkable how the guitar is never totally overwhelmed. Joaquin … Read more

Mozart: Concert for Flute and Harp

By 1777 Mozart had resigned his position with the Archbishop of Salzburg, and set out with his mother to seek his fortune elsewhere in Europe. Whilst in Mannheim, he was commissioned to write two concertos and some quartets for flute. This was the first time that Mozart had composed for the flute, and it would … Read more

Mozart: Concerto for Horn and Orchestra K494a

I. Allegro In 1786, the year in which he completed his best-known Horn Concerto (K.495 in E-flat major), Mozart began work on another Concerto for Horn and Orchestra in E major. Only a fragment of the first movement survives. An element of mystery surrounds the 91-bar incomplete manuscript which Mozart left. Why was the work … Read more

Haydn: Concerto for Two Horns

The authorship of this work is in doubt, and the manuscript which is housed in the Library of Harburg, Germany bears the name of Michael Haydn (1737-1806), but is written in a different hand. The date of the work lies between 1796 and 1802. (acknowledgments Musica Rara Monteux, France) 1st Movement: Allegro Maestro The work … Read more

Sibelius: Violin Concerto

The Finnish Violinist Sibelius was 38 years old when he completed this, his only example of the Concerto form, in the Summer of 1903. It was written for and dedicated to Willy Burmester, leader of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the most highly regarded soloists of his day. At the time Sibelius’ finances … Read more