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BEETHOVEN VIOLIN CONCERTO

In the first of two articles, Augustin Hadelich looks at direction and flow in the first movement of this notoriously simple and yet deceptvely difficult work

From Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major op.61. Urtext editon for violin and piano, paperbound with marked and unmarked string parts. Editor Shin Augustnus Kojima; pf reducton Jürgen Sommer; vn fngering and bowing Wolfgang Schneiderhan. Order no. HN326, ISMN 979-0-20180326-5, €20. Printed with permission of G. Henle Verlag, Munich © 1982. Orchestral material available from Breitkopf & Härtel

This is one of the greatest pieces ever written for the violin. Beethoven composed much of it in a high register that makes the sound shine with an incredible purity and transparency, in the traditional concerto form but greatly expanded. That length creates one of its greatest challenges: to sustain the long arc of the musical story, so it does not sound like an endless collection of ‘nice moments’. Through every long line, always have a goal in mind as to where the phrase is going, and always know where you are in the piece. You need to know when to move it along, and when to have moments of rest, so that you can take your listeners with you on this journey.

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About The Strad

We explore the life of viola pedagogue Karen Tuttle and investigate the potential for Chinese tonewood. Augustin Hadelich takes us through Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in Masterclass and we examine Pablo Casals’s approach to vibrato. Plus Leonidas Kavakos’s Sentimental Work