The genesis of Berg’s Violin Concerto in 1935 is shrouded in tragedy. He had only just finished making the first sketches when Manon Gropius – the daughter of Walter Gropius and Alma Mahler, with whom Berg was friends – died of polio. He dedicated the concerto “To the memory of an angel” in her memory. Then Alban Berg died in 1935, so he no longer lived to see it printed or performed. Our edition – violin part and piano reduction – follow the score edited by Michael Kube, which is being published simultaneously by Breitkopf & Härtel together with the orchestral parts and pocket score. The illustrious violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann has provided fingerings and bowings for the violin part. This edition is worldwide available.
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Following a period of experimentation, at the beginning of the 1930s the instrumental concerto experienced a new flowering as part of a general stylistic consolidation. Many of the violin concertos from that time are regarded today as “classics of modernity,” including those of Igor Stravinsky (1931), Alban Berg (1935), Arnold Schönberg (1936), Serge Prokofiev (1937) and … more
About the composer
Together with his teacher Schönberg and with Webern, he belongs to the Second Viennese School, which defined musical advancement through atonality and the twelve-tone technique. His modest oeuvre is explained not only by his early death, but also by his high aesthetic standard. His two operas Wozzeck and Lulu shaped twentieth-century music theatre. He also wrote essays on analytical and aesthetic matters.
|1885||Born in Vienna on February 9, the son of an art and book dealer.|
|from 1904||Studies with Arnold Schönberg.|
|1904–06||Employment as an accountant. After coming into an inheritance, he relinquishes the position and dedicates himself to music.|
|1905–08||Seven Early Songs (orchestrated 1928).|
|1909||Sonata for piano, Op. 1, in one movement, in sonata-form.|
|1909–10||Four Songs for voice and piano, Op. 2, atonal with dense contrapuntal structure.|
|1910||String Quartet, Op. 3, with expressive tonal qualities.|
|1912||Five Orchestral Songs, texts from postcards from Peter Altenberg, Op. 4. Completes piano reduction of Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder.|
|1913||Four Pieces for clarinet and piano, Op. 5.|
|1913–15||Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6.|
|1923–25||Chamber Concerto for Piano and Violin with Thirteen Wind Instruments.|
|1925||Premiere in Berlin of his most famous opera, “Wozzeck,” considered an Expressionist work.|
|1925–26||Lyric Suite for string quartet, using twelve-tone technique.|
|1929||Concert aria “Der Wein” after Charles Baudelaire.|
|1935||Violin Concerto as a kind of “requiem” (dedicated “to the memory of an angel,” Manon Gropius). Dies in Vienna on December 23/24.|
|1937||Posthumous performance of the two acts of his unfinished opera “Lulu,” begun in 1927.|
About the authors
Questo capolavoro del Novecento è ora disponibile in una nuova edizione Urtext, co-produzione fra due importanti case tedesche. Sono state considerate e confrontate tutte le fonti autografe disponibili: (…) La complessa e affascinante genesi dell´opera è ben discussa nella prefazione (tedesco e inglese).
Somit ist bei Henle die neueste Forschung mit einer praktischen Ausgabe glücklich vereint.
Eine radikale Neuerung des Notentextes ist angesichts der guten Quellenlage nicht zu erwarten gewesen, dafür überzeugt das Henle-Material durch hervorragende Les- und Spielbarkeit. Und dass sich mit Frank Peter Zimmermann ein quellenkritisch erfahrener Virtuose von internationalem Rang gefunden hat, um den Solopart mit Fingersätzen auszustatten, dürfte vor allem unsere jungen Geigenstudenten interessieren.
... die Neuausgabe von Alban Bergs Violinkonzert durch Michael Kube ... ist bei der Komplexität des viel gespielten Werkes eine sehr anspruchsvolle Aufgabe: Wo hat Berg bewusst gegen die Reihe verstoßen, wo handelt es sich um ein Versehen? Immerhin, Kube hat doch einiges an falschen Noten korrigiert und entreißt damit die editorische Hoheit dem Originalverlag Universal Edition. ... Hier wurde eine neue Grundlage geschafffen.