|Elgar, Edward; Bruch, Max / Violin Concert In B Minor, Op. 61; Violin Concerto No. 1 In G Minor, Op. 26 (Rac|
|Add Date:||2018-09-13|| ||Pull Date:||2018-11-15|| ||Charts:||Classical/Experimental|
|Week Ending:||23 Sep|
Rachel Burton Pine admits that the early pairing of the Elgar and Bruch concertos by the youthful Yehudi Menuhin for EMI played a significant role in her concept of these two Romantic violin repertory staples. The 1909 Elgar Concerto came as a result of Elgar’s reading Fritz Kreisler’s complimentary remarks about him, expressing the thought that a violin concerto would be much appreciated. Elgar began sketching out the music in 1905, but his most creative period began in 1909. The idea of “spring” suffuses the piece in the form of a wood anemone or “Windflower,” as Elgar inscribes it.|
There are two such “Windflower” themes in the 1st mvmt, the second sounded by the clarinet. The Spanish inscription of “Here is enshrined the soul of . . .” adds another “enigma” to the Elgar persona, and the drooping theme of the spring flower permeates the music, which eventually achieves a majestic character. The violin part, quite demanding, takes up the music of the orchestral introduction to establish the key of B minor. The Andante, however, drops a semitone into B-flat Major, proffering a theme marked nobilmente that becomes passionate in an otherwise hazy, dreamy atmosphere. The last mvmt, Allegro molto, contains turbulent, agitated passagework, quite virtuosic; but the real surprise lies in the accompanied cadenza based on tunes from the 1st mvmt, in which Pine must play pizzicato tremolando, a “strummed” effect that supposedly mirrors an “Aeolian harp” ornament that hung in the window of Elgar’s study. The last pages offer the impassioned and exalted “Edwardian” grandeur that defines the Elgar sense of nobility.
The1867 G Minor Concerto by Max Bruch remains extremely popular. Connecting the 1st and 2nd mvmts as had Mendelssohn in his E minor Concerto, Bruch manages a lush, seductive 1st mvmt that contains two brief violin cadenzas. The throbbing theme in dotted rhythm never loses its allure. A huge tutti and two more solo cadenzas lead to a bridge to the 2nd mvmt, Adagio, which echoes, pianissimo, the character of the first. The huge climax is in G-flat Major. A bold tune fanfare announces the last mvmt, and a lyrical secondary theme complements the drama, proceeding in variations. A final tightening passage rushes into the short, potent coda.