It made its creator world-famous and added a towering masterpiece to the standard repertoire: Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto in g minor. Now it’s appearing at last in an urtext edition from Henle. Bruch himself was not always overjoyed at his work’s popularity: "I can’t listen to this concerto anymore," he once complained to his publisher Simrock, "do you suppose I’ve only written one concerto?" By now the Bruch Concerto has found a permanent place in the world’s concert halls. Henle’s edition provides not only a razor-sharp urtext for the solo part, but a preface that alone is worth the price of the volume: who could have guessed that the concerto went through a convoluted genesis with multi-layered revisions, and that some of the changes go back to the famous violinist Joseph Joachim?
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The g-minor Violin Concerto, op. 26, by Max Bruch (1838–1920), is one of the standard works of the violin repertoire. Yet the lasting success that has accompanied this piece ever since its publication in 1868 was not bestowed on either of Bruch’s two later violin concertos, both in d minor (opp. 44 and 58), nor on any of his other compositions, with the possible exception … more
About the composer
A German composer of the Romantic period. Stylistically, his works outline a counter-aesthetic to the New German School. His violin concerti are particularly significant, but he also wrote numerous choral works, cantatas, oratorios, songs, stage works and orchestral pieces.
|1838||Born in Cologne on January 6. He received his first musical training from his mother, a singer.|
|from 1849||Music instruction from Heinrich Carl Breidenstein. Writes many compositions even though still a child.|
|1852||Scholarship recipient of Frankfurt’s Mozart Foundation.|
|1853–57||Studies composition with Ferdinand Hiller in Cologne.|
|1858||Premiere in Cologne of his opera “Scherz, List und Rache” (“Jest, Cunning, and Revenge”), op. 1.|
|from 1858||In Leipzig he associates himself with those around Mendelssohn.|
|1862||Moves to Mannheim.|
|1863||Premiere in Mannheim of his opera “Die Loreley,” op. 16.|
|1865–67||Music director in Koblenz. Composes his Violin Concerto no. 1 in G minor, op. 26.|
|1867–70||Court musical director in Sondershausen. Composes his Symphony no. 1 in E-flat major, op. 28, dedicated to Johannes Brahms, and Symphony no. 2 in F minor, op. 36 (both in 1870).|
|1870–78||Freelance composer in Berlin and Bonn. Composes the oratorio Odysseus, op. 41 (1871/72).|
|1879/80||Composition of the Fantasy in E-flat major, op. 46 (Scottish Fantasy) for violin and orchestra.|
|1880–83||Director of the Philharmonic Society in Liverpool.|
|from 1883||Travels to the United States. Director of the Breslauer Orchesterverein (Wrocław Orchestral Society).|
|from 1891||Director of the composition masterclass at the Berlin Academy of the Arts. Honorary doctorate from Cambridge University (1893), and membership of the Académie des Beaux Arts (1898).|
|1907||Vice-President of the Academy of the Arts, Berlin.|
|1920||Dies in Berlin on October 2.|
About the authors
With extensive informative notes about different editions of the score, this is a well-produced edition of a popular repertoire item.
The complex genesis of the work is unravelled in a comprehensive preface and all the various sources have been scrutinized in producing this fine edition.