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Nov. 25 2011

11/27/11 Believe it or not…

By Mark Malinowski | Posted in Toccata | 1 Comment

It may seem hard to believe, but Beethoven’s Violin Concerto was not a big hit in it’s day. It wasn’t until many years after Beethoven’s death that the work was championed by the great violinist Joseph Joachim, and it was his “star power” that got people listening to this work, which had been terribly neglected.

Beethoven knew he had written a masterpiece (very few composers were as confident about their music as Beethoven), but was unhappy that the concerto didn’t catch on. A publisher suggested that he rewrite the work as a piano concerto. After some negotiations, it was decided that Beethoven would write the work as piano concerto, and the two versions would be published together, the idea being that it would get the work heard by a broader audience. It didn’t work. However, the piano version of the work is certainly worth listening to, even though it is rarely performed. Beethoven left the orchestral portion of the work intact, and rewrote the solo part for piano. We’ll hear this interesting work on this week’s “Toccata,” Sunday evening at 6. Also, we recognized the birthday of the great German pianist Wilhelm Kempff this Friday. We’ll hear Kempff as composer with his Piano Sonata. Hope you can join me!

Mark Malinowski

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Mark is WBJC's morning host. His full bio can be read here.

One Response to 11/27/11 Believe it or not…

  • Doug Kitchener says:

    After hearing (most of) the “Beethoven Violin Concerto for Piano” that evening, I asked Reed to play it a couple of Fridays ago, and have purchased the CD as well. Guard your copy carefully – it is out of “print”, or “press”, or “burn”, or whatever the term is for a discontinued music CD… Amazon had a new one for $199.00! I was able to get a used copy for about $10, I think it was… it’s still on the way. I think I like the piano version better than the violin version! Thanks, Mark, for introducing me to it.

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