Henryk Wieniawski was not only one of the most important violin virtuosos in the 19th century but also wrote tailor-made showpieces for his instrument – thus making some brilliant contributions to the repertoire. With his Scherzo-Tarantella it is as if he could not decide whether to write a classical subdued Scherzo or an unrestrained Italian folkdance. So he chose a double title and thus aptly captured the unique character of this captivating piece. Our edition contains the detailed original fingerings and bowings from the first edition – occasionally supplemented by our editor Ray Iwazumi, a renowned authority on the repertoire.
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The Polish violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835–80) was only 20 years old when he wrote his Scherzo-Tarantella op. 16 in 1855 (cf. Andrzej Jazdon, Henryk Wieniawski. Thematic Catalogue of Works, Poznan, 2009, pp. 72 ff.). By that time, however, he had already composed several works of impressive quality, including his Polonaise de concert in D major op. 4 (1852), … more
About the composer
A Polish violinist and composer, who enjoyed great international success as a virtuoso. His technical abilities found their way into compositions characterized by a predilection for variation, virtuosity, and ornament. They constitute a significant part of nineteenth-century violin literature.
|1835||Born in Lublin on July 10. Here he is trained in violin by Stanisław Serwaczyński and Jan Hornziel.|
|1846||A pupil of Lambert-Joseph Massart, he is awarded first prize at the Paris Conservatoire.|
|1848||In Paris he makes his debut as a violinist.|
|1850||He is a pupil in Hippolyte Raimond Colet’s class (harmony).|
|from 1851||He undertakes extended concert tours, including to Russia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, and London. He appears as a chamber musician in concerts organized by the Beethoven Quartet Society.|
|from 1860||He is first soloist in the opera orchestra at the court in St. Petersburg. He leads the Russian Musical Society quartet.|
|1862–67||Professor of violin at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.|
|1872–74||Sets out on a concert tour through the United States, together with Anton Rubinstein for the first nine months of it.|
|1874–77||He holds a violin professorship in Brussels. Eugène Ysaÿe becomes his private student.|
|1880||Dies in Moscow on March 31.|