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Samuel Barber

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Concerto for Violin (1939)
G Schirmer Inc
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
22 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Alternate Orchestration
Violin; piano reduction
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Programme Note
Samuel Barber Concerto for Violin (1939)
  • Notes on the New Edition:
    download note
    download PDF
    Commentary by David Flachs, Director of Production, G. Schirmer, Inc.


Composer Note:

The first movement — Allegro molto moderato — begins with a lyrical first subject announced at once by the solo violin, without any orchestral introduction. The movement as a whole has, perhaps, more the character of sonata than concerto form. The second movement — Andante sostenuto — is introduced by an extended oboe solo. The violin enters with a contrasting and rhapsodic theme, after which it repeats the oboe melody of the beginning. The last movement, a perpetual motion, exploits the more brilliant and virtuoso characteristics of the violin.

— Samuel Barber

  • Ensemble
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    James Buswell, violin
    Marin Alsop
  • G. Schirmer:
  • Ensemble
    New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Cleveland Orchestra / Philadelphia Orchestra
    Isaac Stern, violin; John Browning, piano
    Leonard Bernstein / George Szell / Eugene Ormandy / Thomas Schippers
    Sony Essential Classics:
  • Ensemble
    Brno Philharmonic Orchestra
    Music Sales :
  • Ensemble
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Steuart Bedford
  • Ensemble
    London Symphony Orchestra
    André Previn
    Deutsche Grammophon:
  • 21 JUL 2019
    BBC Proms 2019
    Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Nemanja Radulović, violin ; Kirill Karabits, conductor
  • 29 JUL 2019
    The Centre for Young Musicians
    London Schools Symphony Orchestra (Lewis)

    Other Dates:
    31 July; 2 August - The Centre for Young Musicians
  • 10 AUG 2019
    Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
    Cleveland Orchestra
    Jung-Min Amy Lee; Ascher Fisch, conductor
  • 17 AUG 2019
    Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
    Kennett Symphony Orchestra
    Kenneth Naito, Performing First Movement Only; Michael Hall, conductor
  • 19 AUG 2019
    Highland Park, Illinois
    Luzerner Sinfonieorchester
    Anne Akiko Meyers, Violin; Gaffigan James, conductor
  • 22 AUG 2019
    Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    James Gaffigan, conductor
  • 14 SEP 2019
    Chapman Theater at Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Tulsa, OK
    Tulsa Symphony
    Rachel Barton Pine; Daniel Hege, conductor
  • 22 SEP 2019
    Goucher College, Baltimore, MD
    Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
  • 27 SEP 2019
    Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE
    Delaware Symphony
    Tessa Lark; David Amado, conductor
  • 11 OCT 2019
    Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh, NC
    North Carolina Symphony
    Joshua Gersen, conductor

    Other Dates:
    12 October - Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh, NC
    13 October - Southern Pines, Southern Pines, NC
    24 October - Memorial Hall UNC, Chapel Hill, NC
    25 October - Riverfront Convention Center, New Bern, NC
  • 18 OCT 2019
    SOU Music Recital Hall, Ashland, OR
    Rogue Valley Symphony
    Martin Majkut, conductor

    Other Dates:
    19 October - Craterian Theater at the Collier Center, Medford, OR
    20 October - GPHS Performing Arts Center, Grants Pass, OR
  • 18 OCT 2019
    Ulster Hall, Belfast
  • 19 OCT 2019
    The VETS, Providence, RI
    Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra
    James Ehnes; Bramwell Tovey, conductor
  • 23 OCT 2019
    Lighthouse Poole, UK
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Philippe Quint; Andrew Litton, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24 October - University Great Hall, Exeter
  • 08 NOV 2019
    Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth, TX
    Fort Worth Symphony
    Chloë Hanslip; Garrett Keast, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9,10 November - Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth, TX
  • 13 MAR 2020
    Tucson Music Hall, Tucson, AZ
    Tucson Symphony Orchestra
    Paul Huang; Manuel Silva, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15 March - Tucson Music Hall, Tucson, AZ
  • 14 MAY 2020
    Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, UK
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Esther Yoo, Violin; Joana Carneiro, conductor
  • 18 JUN 2020
    Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA
    San Francisco Symphony
    Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

    Other Dates:
    20,21 June - Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA
  • 04 JUL 2020
    St Saviour's Church, St Albans, UK
    St Albans Symphony Orchestra
    Tom Hammond, conductor

...when you hear the piece played with such finesse as it was here, you appreciate that Barber's generously proportioned lyrical themes possess a subtlety and suppleness that take on a particular poignancy when treated with the sort of innate sensitivity that Ehnes's playing radiates. More than that, Alsop was alert to the piquancy fo orchestral texture that lends the score its occassional tang, be it in lemony woodwind or brass colouring, or in the nicely bracing astringency of the piano. While melody is at the core of the concerto, Alsop's arresting build-ups of dissonance at the climaxes and Ehnes's sparkling virtuosity in the finale showed the concerto's expressive facets in compelling breadth.
Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph,26/07/2007
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