Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, is his last large orchestral work. It forms an important part of the violin repertoire and is one of the most popular and most frequently performed violin concertos in history. A typical performance lasts just under half an hour.
Mendelssohn originally proposed the idea of the violin concerto to Ferdinand David, a close friend and then concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Although conceived in 1838, the work took another six years to complete and was not premiered until 1845. During this time, Mendelssohn maintained a regular correspondence with David, who gave him many suggestions. The work itself was one of the foremost violin concertos of the Romantic era and was influential on many other composers.
Although the concerto consists of three movements in a standard fast–slow–fast structure and each movement follows a traditional form, the concerto was innovative and included many novel features for its time. Distinctive aspects include the almost immediate entrance of the violin at the beginning of the work (rather than following an orchestral preview of the first movement's major themes, as was typical in Classical-era concertos) and the through-composed form of the concerto as a whole, in which the three movements are melodically and harmonically connected and played attacca (each movement immediately following the previous one).
Performances & Interviews
- Mendelssohn: Violin Concertohttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sjxfv.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sjxfv.jpg2014-06-04T10:31:00.000ZCatherine Bott explores Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p020bh7y
Mendelssohn: Violin ConcertoCatherine Bott explores Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.
- Mendelssohn: Violin Concertohttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02085t3.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02085t3.jpg2014-07-09T11:57:00.000ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Suzy Klein talks about Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p022hcck
Mendelssohn: Violin ConcertoIn this Proms Music Guide, Suzy Klein talks about Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.
- Mendelssohn Violin Concertohttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05tkhx9.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05tkhx9.jpg2010-03-02T13:30:00.000ZAn exploration of the personal and professional impact of the concerto written in 1844. With violinist Daniel Hope. From March 2010.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b00r0smn
Mendelssohn Violin ConcertoAn exploration of the personal and professional impact of the concerto written in 1844. With violinist Daniel Hope. From March 2010.