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July 2016
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VOTE: What’s Your Favorite Violin Concerto?


Hear excerpts from these concertos below.

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  • Jim Axtell

    My favorite of the many great ones is Elgar’s. We attended a CSO concert where Gil Shaham played it under Zinman, and I later bought the recording. A beuatiful work, and performance!

  • Bruce

    I would stuff the ballot box for Prokofiev #2 if I could. After my first somewhat disconcerting hearing 50+ years ago, I’ve never gotten tired of it.

  • VGan

    Without a doubt, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35 Itzhak Perlman conducted by Eugene Ormandy.

  • Evan

    I’m surprised how low Barber’s violin concerto is voted on this list. A favorite of mine is Akira Ifukube’s violin concerto No. 1. It’s a two movement piece and very distinct in its style, mixing Asian and Russian elements. He was a great classical composer and it’s a shame we never get to hear his or other Asian composer’s music on this station.

  • Mark

    Many good choices. Thank for doing this. I would have added Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto to the list.

  • betty becker

    My favorite violin concerto is Wienawski Violin Concerto 1. How about listing it?

  • helen arnold

    The Bach Brandenberg Concertos, specificially, numbers 2 and 5. From the list above: The Elgar Concerto in B minor, Op61; Korngold; Mozart #5 in A major; Tchaikovsky D major, Op 35; Vivaldi, The Four Seasons; Sibelius Dminor, Op 47.

  • Robert Rejmer

    I would recommend expanding this list by adding Wieniawski’s #2 in D minor and a few less predictable choices: Stravinsky, Bloch and Khachaturian violin concertos, Haydn concerto in G or C, Pendercki #2 and Szymanowski “May Night”

    • Elizabeth Jonca

      Yes, the Stravinsky.

  • Karen Shaffer

    The month of August (22nd) (1867) marks the birthday of the legendary American violinist Maud Powell who was born in Peru, Illinois, and grew up in Aurora, IL, studying violin with William Lewis in Chicago. She premiered the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius violin concertos in America and played them into the repertoire. The Maud Powell Society invites everyone to join in celebrating her 150th anniversary in 2017-18.

  • Jim Ginsburg

    10 suggestions for your less-well-known concerto selections to accompany the top 10:
    Joachim Concerto No. 2 “In the Hungarian Style”
    Joseph White Concerto in F-sharp minor
    Chevalier de Saint-Georges Concerto in A Major, Op. 5, No. 2
    Szymanowski Concerto No. 1
    Martinu Concerto No. 2
    Bruch Scottish Fantasy
    Franz Clement Concerto in D major
    Khachaturian Concerto
    Miaskovsky Concerto
    Bernstein Serenade
    (I should note that the first 7 are available on Cedille Records in performances by Rachel Barton Pine and Jennifer Koh)

  • Gene

    One violin concerto which should be considered for airing is the Hindemith violin concerto. it’s considerably different stylistically than what you’ll be playing otherwise and is a lively and engaging work with a slow and meandering second movement that’s a bit like something Ravel might have written if he was Hindemith instead of Ravel.

  • Nick Yasillo

    For me personally, the artist performing a particular concerto has as much, or even more to do with it becoming a “favorite” as the composer, not to mention one’s mood and environment at any specific time.

    Therefore (at this moment): Bruch G minor performed by Elena Urioste. No contest!

  • Ofra Peled

    Mendelssohn with Shlomo Mintz

  • Bitter Scribe

    Hilary Hahn playing the Mendelssohn concerto is as close to heaven as I’m ever going to get. Her playing the Brahms is a close second.

  • Larry

    Ernest Bloch’s concerto is seldom heard. The recording by Yehudi Menuhin is brilliant and powerful.

  • charles grumiaux

    Paganini violin concerto No 1 would be one of the technically challenging violin concerto war horse. So is Paganini’s violin concerto No 2 “La Companella”. They should be on the top 10 list.

  • charles grumiaux

    Saint Saens Violin concerto no 3, vieuxtemp’s violin concerto no 5 should be in top 20 also.

  • Jan

    Shostakovich #1 is in A minor, not C# minor, right? #2 is the one in C#.

    • Jim Ginsburg

      Good catch. The opus number is wrong too. Should be Op. 77 or 99 — the composer suppressed the piece while Stalin was still alive, so it ended up with two different numbers in his catalog — not 129.

  • Gary Gutting

    Bartok (#2) seems a major omission.

  • Ixel Jackson

    Wieniawski Violin Concerto No.2 in D minor, Op.22 and Saint-Saëns – Violin Concerto No 3 in B minor, Op 61

  • Sam R. Hamburg

    Schoenberg’s violin concerto is my favorite. It was Schoenberg’s own favorite among his orchestral works. If you are not familiar to it, and it sounds like gibberish to you, just listen to it once a day for a month and it will reveal itself. Unfortunately there is no altogether satisfactory recording of it. I think that the Israel Baker–Robert Craft recording from the 1960s is still the best. The violinists on all the other recordings play with a lot of vibrato–a practice that Schoenberg frowned on and would not abide in his own piece. Michael Barenboim gave an excellent performance of it at Orchestra Hall a few years ago. It has not been released on CD but you can find it on the internet.

  • Stephen Holvay

    De Beriot Concerto in G. This was written for the turn of the century female violinist Maud Powell. I doubt WFMT would have a cd of this. I have the Allegro Maestoso movement of it played by Powell on a Red Seal 78.

  • Steve Berlin

    How about Philip Glass’s two concerti?

  • Sarah McAllister

    Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins. I’m learning to play it right now and it’s awesome.

    • Cathryn

      totally agree that this one is the best of all the concertos.

  • Gideon Klionsky

    For anyone that hasn’t read the Barry Targan short story “Harry Belten and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto”, you’re missing out!

    • Ron Fritz

      Sounds interesting!! The Mendelssohn is my favorite!! 🙂

  • Edmund Zisook

    Paganini violin concerto #1

  • LKDH

    What–no Khachaturian?! In that case, I vote for the Mendelssohn.

  • Stephen Ellis

    Can’t believe that the Bartok No. 2 and Hindemith concerti are ignored in this listing. Good cases can be made for the Bloch, Chavez, Dutilleux, Lars-Erik Larsson, Menotti, Wm. Schuman, Stravinsky, Walton–especially against the overrated Barber, Glazunov, and Korngold, . Hope to hear some of these next week. And the one concerti I never tire of–Prokofiev’s First. Haunting.

  • Michael Furgala

    Bartók 2 or Ligeti