Eduard Hanslick, a much feared critic in his time, was not very complimentary following its première: the violin was no longer being played but rather “pulled about, torn asunder, beaten black and blue”. Yet he was not able to stop the triumphal march of Tschaikowsky’s only violin concerto. Its incredible technical demands have meant that it is a true test of virtuosity. Its effectivenessis, however, mainly due to its great expressiveness – are there any violinists who do not love the lyrical melancholic “Canzonetta”? – and due to its Slavic temperament. At last and indeed for the first time this milestone in the violinist’s repertoire is now available in a text-critical edition, which is true to its original form.
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Peter I. Tchaikovsky (1840 – 93) wrote his Violin Concerto op. 35 in only 25 days during March and April 1878. He was motivated to write it by the violinist Iosif I. Kotek (1855 – 85), who was his composition student at the Moscow Conservatory and later his close friend. After completion of the Fourth Symphony and the opera Eugene Onegin in January 1878, Tchaikovsky had … more
About the composer
Peter Iljitsch Tschaikowsky
Most important and first professionally trained Russian composer of the nineteenth century; main works include operas, ballet music, six symphonies, three piano concerti, and one violin concerto, as well as songs, chamber music, and piano music.
|1840||Born in Votkinsk on May 7, the son of a mining engineer.|
|1849–59||Educated as an attorney.|
|1861–65||Study of music; he numbers among the first graduates of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Piano studies with Anton Rubinstein.|
|1866–76||He relocates to Moscow to teach harmony, instrumentation, and free composition at what later became the Moscow Conservatory. Composition of Symphonies No. 1 through 3 (Opp. 13, 17, 29), the Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23, the three string quartets (Op. 11 in 1871, Op. 22 in 1874, Op. 90 in 1876).|
|1868–76||Active as a reviewer. He attends the premiere in Bayreuth of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” in 1876.|
|from 1877||Travels at home and abroad. Beginning of patronage from Nadezhda von Meck. Composition of the Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36, premiered in Moscow in 1878. Premiere of the ballet “Swan Lake,” Op. 20.|
|1879||Premiere in Moscow of “Eugene Onegin,” his best-known and most important opera.|
|1884||Premiere in Moscow of “Mazeppa.”|
|from 1887||Regular performances as conductor of his and others’ work. He is regarded abroad as the most important exponent of Russian music|
|from 1888||Granted an annuity for life by the Tsar.|
|1888||Composition and premiere in St. Petersburg of the Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64; fate motive appears as a kind of “idée fixe.”|
|1892||Premiere of the ballet “The Nutcracker,” Op. 71.|
|1893||Composition of the Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“Pathétique”), Op. 74, which is premiered in St. Petersburg in October that year.|
|1893||Death from cholera in St. Petersburg on November 6.|
About the authors
After many subsequent editions, notably those by Auer, Kreisler and Oistrakh, this splendid co-production takes into account all surviving sources of this epoch-making concerto and critically evaluates them.
Gleichwohl bietet die Ausgabe den wohl gegenwärtig besten Notentext des Werks und macht mit einer Fülle von sehr interessanten Varianten vertraut, die nun problemlos studiert werden können.
Endlich und erstmals liegt nun auch dieser Meilenstein der Violinliteratur in einer textkritischen Ausgabe vor, die seiner ursprünglichen Gestalt gerecht wird.
Die Einrichtung durch Kurt Guntner ist ebenfalls optisch sehr ansprechend, da vor allem nicht überladen. Und liest man beispielsweise die Fingersätze, die Guntner vorschlägt, so ist man verblüfft, ob der logischen Stringenz, mit der sie zu den einzelnen Passagen passen.
In presenting this urtext, Henle offers no such changes and also steers clear of the more romantic reading inherent in Oistrakh’s fingering suggestions. … The whole history of the concerto and its origins are extensively discussed in the Preface while the Critical Comments detail all markings and differences from the sources. … The violin part is faithful to the composer’s original intentions and is a welcome addition to the existing array.
The new Henle edition of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is a welcome addition to the existing array of versions, offering an interesting perspective on this ever-popular work. … The editorial comments are concise, helpful and meticulously researched, and the piano edition, taken from Tchaikovsky’s original violin-piano version as well as the much later score, offers a practical reading.
Pour la première fois ici, l’œuvre est publiée dans une édition critique prenant en compte sa forme originale.