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Encyclopedia > Violin Concerto No. 1 (Wieniawski)

This is the first violin concerto written by the Polish violin virtuoso, Henryk Wieniawski. The F-sharp minor concerto was first performed on October 27, 1853 in Leipzig. The score is dedicated to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...

Allegro moderato........................ circa 15'00"

Preghiera: Larghetto................... circa 5'00"

Rondo: Allegro giocoso............... circa 7'00"

The first movement has two contrasting themes, the first in dotted rhythm and initially hesitant and the second in B major (begun by the cellos), wide-ranging and expressive. These are, in turn, dissected and ornamented by the soloist with formidable virtuosity, using multiple-stopping and harmonics and, notably in the cadenza, the extreme upper register of the violin.

The second movement, Preghiera (Prayer), is a short lyrical interlude in A major, with the orchestra woodwinds and horns given much prominence; it leads right into the concluding Rondo, a colourful and vivacious piece with a contrasting episode in B major and demanding bravura playing, but without the first movement's extreme pyrotechnics (suggesting that it was composed earlier).

The overall piece is rarely performed in concerts due to its weakness in the second and third movements. Many consider this piece as an improperly balanced piece, with a tense, challenging first movement and a transparent, weak second and third movement.

Golding, Robin. Wieniawski: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen. Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg. 1991. pp. 1-2.



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