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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:
  • 26 APR 2019
    Cleveland Heights High School, Dina Rees Auditorium, Cleveland Heights, OH
    Heights High Symphony Orchestra
    Maria Tarnay, Performing First and Second Movements Only; Daniel Heim, conductor
  • 27 APR 2019
    Shriver Hall, Baltimore, MD
    Hopkins Symphony Orchestra
    Irina Muresanu; Jed Gaylin, conductor
  • 27 APR 2019
    Providence Presbyterian Church, Fairfax, VA
    Robinson Philharmonic Orchestra
    Zahra Edwards, Performing First Movement Only; Anne Rupert, conductor
  • 29 APR 2019
    Weill Recitall Hall, New York, NY
    New York Concerti Sinfonietta
    Julieanne Forrest, Performing First Movement Only; Joseph Alessi, conductor
  • 30 APR 2019
    Prague, Czech
    Deutsche Radio Philharmonie
    K. Lachova; M. Nemcova, conductor
  • 01 MAY 2019
    Hall Auditorium, Oxford, OH
    Miami University Symphony Orchestra
    Performing First Movement Only; Ricardo Averbach, conductor
  • 02 MAY 2019
    Irons Recital Hall, Arlington, TX
    UT Arlington Symphony Orchestra
    Martha Walvoord; Clifton Evans, conductor
  • 04 MAY 2019
    Landis Theater, Vineland, NJ
    Bay Atlantic Symphony
    Alexi Kenney; Jed Gaylin, conductor

    Other Dates:
    5 May - Stockton Performing Arts Center, Galloway, NJ
  • 09 MAY 2019
    Barbican Hall, London, UK
    London Schools Symphony Orchestra
    Elena Urioste, violin
  • 10 MAY 2019
    Dondero Auditorium, Royal Oak Middle School, Royal Oak, MI
    Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra
    Performing First Movement Only; John McLaughlin Williams, conductor
  • 11 MAY 2019
    AF Siebert Chapel, Kenosha, WI
    Carthage College Philharmonic
    Heather Beckman, Performing First Movement Only; Edward Kawakami, conductor
  • 16 MAY 2019
    Gotha, Germany
    Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha-Suhl
    Elena Tanski (vc); Harris Russell, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17 May - Eisenach, Germany
  • 17 MAY 2019
    Village Church, Beaverton, OR
    Beaverton Symphony Orchestra
    Paul Lee, Performing First Movement Only; Travis Hatton, conductor

    Other Dates:
    19 May - Village Church, Beaverton, OR
  • 18 MAY 2019
    Saunders Trades and Technical High School, Yonkers, NY
    Yonkers Philharmonic
    Juling Wang, Performing First and Third Movements Only; Tong Chen, conductor
  • 31 MAY 2019
    Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, AB, CA
    Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
    Simone Porter; Alexander Prior, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 June - Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, AB, CA
  • 02 JUN 2019
    Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Portland, OR
    Paul Lee, Performing First Movement Only; Donald L. Appert, conductor
  • 09 JUN 2019
    Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
    Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra
    Ethan Chaves; Federico Cortese, conductor
  • 10 AUG 2019
    Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
    Cleveland Orchestra
    Jung-Min Amy Lee; Ascher Fisch, conductor
  • 22 AUG 2019
    Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    James Gaffigan, 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

...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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