Music performances attract many people. Concerts and dance performances are big hits for many producers. Solo concerts and performances are most awaited by budding artists. It is through solo performances that an individual gauges his following and his fame. It is sad to note that violin performances and orchestra performances do not generate as much audience as concerts generate.
Audiences are more attracted to rock music and band members banging on their drums and plucking their guitars. Very few people attend to violin concertos and other orchestra performances. Only orchestra enthusiasts and parents support the performances of people from the orchestra.
Violin concertos suffer the same fate with other orchestra performances. The Italian word concerto is used to refer to a musical work with three parts wherein one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra. Concerto has risen from the Baroque period and the concerto grosso. Violin concertos have been structured into four movements by Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky and Alban Berg. The famous violin concertos include the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Paganini.
The violin concerto was a perfect avenue for artists’ performances during the 19th century. The concerto advanced during this century and violinists were regarded as heroes. They are honored, respected and given high acknowledgement. Violin concertos often have recitative elements. These elements showed the influence of the opera in Italy. Paganini flourished in this century and used his unique abilities in staging performances. He took advantage of the potential of the violin and pushed the possibilities to the limits.
Two concertos that are worth mentioning is Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy concerto. Brahms concerto was the only concerto he ever composed. It was first played on January 1, 1879 and Brahms conducted this first ever performance. The concerto was dedicated to Joseph Joachim and Joachim had the privilege of playing it during the first performance.
Brahm worked on the concerto when he retired in Southern Austria in 1878. The concerto was a collaboration of Brahms and Joachim. Joachim was a good friend of Brahm. The first three movements of the concerto were finished in august 1878 and Brahm sent a copy to Joachim. Brahm asked Joachim for his suggestions and Joachim obliged. The concerto’s first movements were thematic and dramatic. The second movement was composed of many themes and variations.
The Mendelssohn concerto is often associated with child prodigies. The composer was educated in musical schools and had a public appearance at the age of 9 and collected his compositions when he was 11.This concerto was dedicated to Ferdinand David and was completed in many years. The concerto’s first staging was a success. However, David couldn’t make the subsequent performances and sent his pupil to perform his act.
The next artist who performed the concerto was the then 14 year old, Joseph Joachim. Joachim did a great job in the concerto and this was his claim to fame.
The concerto had a wonderful melody because of the composer’s gift. The first movement of the concerto was straightforward and simple. It was understandable. The movements in the concerto were well coordinated and the transitions sustained the mood.
These two violin concertos have gained fame and popularity in their times. Up to now, these concertos are still considered as two of the best violin concertos. Contemporary artists often perform these concertos to gain the fame that they want to achieve.