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Encyclopedia > Violin Concerto (Tchaikovsky)

The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the best known of all violin concertos. It is also considered to be among the most technically difficult works for violin. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (help· info) (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайкóвский, sometimes transliterated as Piotr, Anglicised as Peter Ilich), (7 May [O.S. 25 April] 1840 – 6 November [O.S. 25 October] 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. ... A violin concerto is a concerto for solo violin and orchestra. ... The violin is a bowed stringed musical instrument that has four strings tuned a perfect fifth apart, the lowest being the G just below middle C. It is the smallest and highest-tuned member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and cello. ...


As with most concerti, the piece is in three movements, the first and last quick, the second slow:

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Canzonetta: Andante
  3. Allegro vivacissimo

The piece was written in 1878 in Clarens, a Swiss resort on the shores of Lake Geneva where Tchaikovsky had gone to recover from the depression brought on by his disastrous marriage to Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova (Tchaikovsky was homosexual, and had only married Milyukova out of a sense of duty). Clarens is a small farming town situated in the foothills of the Rooiberge in the Free State Province of South Africa and called the Jewel of the Free State. It was established in 1912 and named after the town in Switzerland where exiled Paul Kruger spent his last days. ... Lake Geneva - or Lake Léman, (French Lac Léman, le Léman, or Lac de Genève, German Genfer See) is the second largest freshwater lake in Central Europe (after Lake Balaton), divided as 40% France (Haute-Savoie) and 60% Switzerland (cantons of Vaud, Geneva, and Valais). ...


Tchaikovsky was accompanied there by his composition pupil, the violinist Yosif Kotek, and the two played works for violin and piano together, which may have been the catalyst for the composition of the concerto. Tchaikovsky not being a violinist himself, he was advised on the composition of the solo part by Kotek. Swift progress was made, and the work was completed within a month despite the middle movement getting a complete rewrite (a version of the original movement was preserved as the first of the three pieces for violin and piano, Souvenir d'un lieu cher).


Kotek did not have a strong enough reputation to premiere the work, so Tchaikovsky instead intended the first performance to be given by Leopold Auer, and accordingly dedicated the work to him. Auer refused, however, saying the work was unplayable (he did play the work later in his life, however), meaning that the planned premiere for March 1879 had to be cancelled and a new soloist found. The first performance was eventually given by Adolph Brodsky on December 4, 1881 in Vienna (Tchaikovsky changed the dedication to him). Critical reaction was mixed, and the piece was certainly not received as the masterpiece it is taken to be today. The influential critic Eduard Hanslick called it "long and pretentious" and said that it "brought us face to face with the revolting thought that music can exist which stinks to the ear." Leopold Auer Leopold Auer (June 7, 1845 – July 15, 1930) was a Hungarian violinist, teacher, conductor and composer. ... Vienna (German: Wien [viːn]; Slovenian: Dunaj, Croatian and Serbian: Beč Romanian: Viena, Hungarian: Bécs, Czech: Vídeň, Slovak: Viedeň, Romany Vidnya;) Vienna is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... Eduard Hanslick (September 11, 1825 – August 6, 1904) was a German writer on music, perhaps the most influential music critic of the 19th century. ...


Tchaikovsky wrote only one concerto for violin, but wrote three other concerti, all for piano, with the Piano Concerto No. 1 by far the best known. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovskys Piano Concerto No. ...


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  Results from FactBites:
 
Violin Concerto (Tchaikovsky) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (411 words)
Tchaikovsky was accompanied there by his composition pupil, the violinist Yosif Kotek, and the two played works for violin and piano together, which may have been the catalyst for the composition of the concerto.
Tchaikovsky not being a violinist himself, he was advised on the composition of the solo part by Kotek.
Tchaikovsky wrote only one concerto for violin, but wrote three other concerti, all for piano, with the Piano Concerto No. 1 by far the best known.
Violin concerto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (506 words)
A violin concerto is a concerto for solo violin (occasionally, two or more violins) and instrumental ensemble, customarily orchestra.
In some violin concertos, especially from the Baroque and modern eras, the violin (or group of violins) is accompanied by a chamber ensemble rather than an orchestra—for instance, Vivaldi's L'estro armonico, originally scored for four violins, two violas, cello, and continuo, and Allan Pettersson's first concerto, for violin and string quartet.
Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, op.
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