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Samuel Barber

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Concerto for Violin (1939)
G Schirmer Inc
Soloists 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:
  • 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
  • 05 OCT 2019
    The Apex Hotel Bath
    Bath Philharmonia
    Jason Thornton, conductor
  • 10 OCT 2019
    UNCG Auditorium, Greensboro, NC
    UNCG Symphony Orchestra
    Kevin M. Geraldi, 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
  • 12 OCT 2019
    Kuss Auditorium, Clark State Performing Arts Center, Springfield, OH
    Springfield Symphony Orchestra
    Peter Stafford Wilson, conductor
  • 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
  • 25 OCT 2019
    Whitehead Auditorium, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA
    Valdosta Symphony Orchestra
    Elena Urioste; Howard Hsu, conductor

    Other Dates:
    26 October - Whitehead Auditorium, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA
  • 26 OCT 2019
    Bob Carr Theater, Orlando, FL
    Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 27 OCT 2019
    The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, Purchase, NY
    Westchester Philharmonic
    Simone Porter; Eric Jacobsen, conductor
  • 29 OCT 2019
    Miller Concert Hall, Wichita, KS
    Wichita State University Orchestra
    Timothy Jones; Mark Laycock, conductor
  • 31 OCT 2019
    Buchwald Theater, Brooklyn, NY
    Conservatory Orchestra
    George Rothman, conductor
  • 03 NOV 2019
    Eaton Chapel / Beloit, WI / USA
    Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra
    Robert Tomaro, conductor
  • 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
  • 17 NOV 2019
    Straz Center, Ferguson Hall / Tampa, FL / USA
    Tampa Bay Symphony
    Ellen dePasquale; Mark Sforzini, conductor
  • 23 NOV 2019
    Saenger Theatre, Mobile, AL
    Mobile Symphony Orchestra
    Paul Huang; Scott Speck, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24 November - Saenger Theatre, Mobile, AL
  • 07 DEC 2019
    Danbury High School / Danbury, CT / USA
    Danbury Community Orchestra
    Performing Second Movement Only; Stephen Smith, conductor
  • 07 DEC 2019
    Danbury High School, Danbury, CT
    Danbury Community Orchestra
    Performing Selection; Stephen Smith, conductor
  • 02 FEB 2020
    First Ontario Performing Arts Centre / St. Catharines, ON / Canada
    Niagara Symphony Orchestra
    Bradley Thachuk, conductor
  • 16 FEB 2020
    Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington, VT
    Vermont Youth Orchestra
    Nathan Wu; Edward Cumming, conductor
  • 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
  • 19 APR 2020
    Washington Center, Olympia, WA
    Olympia Symphony
    Huw Edwards, conductor

    Other Dates:
    30 May - Long Beach Terrace Theater, Long Beach, CA
  • 07 MAY 2020
    Corn Exchange Cambridge
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Esther Yoo; Joana Carnerio, conductor

    Other Dates:
    8 May - Canterbury The Marlowe Canterbury
    14 May - Royal Festival Hall [Southbank Concert Halls] London
    17 May - Theatre Royal Norwich
  • 14 MAY 2020
    Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, UK
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Esther Yoo, Violin; Joana Carneiro, conductor
  • 23 MAY 2020
    L'Auditori of Barcelona, Spain
    Orquesta Sinfonica de Barcelona
    Esther Yoo, violin ; Michal Nesterowicz, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24 May - L'Auditori of Barcelona, Spain
  • 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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