Sunday night violin concerto

February 1, 2009

Tuesday of this coming week is one of the major musical centenaries of 2009.  It is the two-hundredth birthday of Felix Mendelssohn.  If Haydn, Mozart, and Mendelssohn are the three great figures of the classical period, Mendelssohn is certainly the most neglected today.  Why is that?  Is his music just too polite?  I think it is fair to say that he never wrote anything as great as Mozart’s Requiem or Don Giovanni, yet his music is always charming and well-crafted, and we ought to listen to him more than we do.

In honour of his upcoming birthday, therefore, here is the opening section of his Violin Concerto.  The concert is from the BBC Proms a few years ago.  Roger Norrington conducts the BBC Orchestra, and the soloist is Janine Jansen.  The good folks at the BBC have provided informative commentary along the bottom of the screen. (The music begins at about 0:30.)

(This clip ends rather abruptly in the middle of the soloist’s cadenza.  The music continues here.)

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