Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto – No. 20 in our collection

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Kyung Wha Chung (violin), Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit (conductor)

Felix Mendelssohn (03.02.1809 – 04.11.1847), was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. His Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 is easily his most popular work, but he also wrote some fine symphonies; his Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 ‘Italian’ and Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 ‘Scottish’ being the best of the five. He is also known for the hymn Hark! the herald angels sing and the evocative Hebrides Overture, Op. 26.

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is an elegant, impassioned work that was written just three years before his death. The work is in three movements played without a break. It begins with a dream-like disturbed opening which grabs your attention from the outset. This piece contains some highly lyrical themes and it builds to a triumphant barn-storming finale containing glittering passagework , march rhythms and a broad theme combining in an ending of seemingly unstoppable momentum.

We have chosen a version of this frequently recorded concerto (more than 450 available) that makes us fall in love with this work all over again. This early digital recording still sounds good and Kyung Wha Chung and Charles Dutoit combine well to give a highly communicative but not over-stated performance. Sit back and revel in the fast tempi in this sparkling account.

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