Published on Dec 19, 2014
I. Toccata ∙ II. Aria I ∙ III. Aria II ∙ IV. Capriccio ∙
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Violine ∙
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Dirigent ∙
Alte Oper Frankfurt, 12. Dezember 2014 ∙
Igor Stravinsky's Violin Concerto in D is a neoclassical violin concerto in four movements,
composed in the summer of 1931 and premiered on October 23, 1931.
It lasts approximately twenty minutes.
It was used by George Balanchine as music for two ballets.Early in the compositional process,
Stravinsky devised a chord which stretches from D4 to E5 to A6.
One day while he and Dushkin were having lunch in a Paris restaurant,
he sketched the chord on a napkin for the violinist, who thought the chord unplayable,
to Stravinsky's disappointment.
On returning home, however, Dushkin tried it out on his violin and
was surprised to discover it was actually quite easy to play.
He immediately telephoned Stravinsky to say that it could be played after all.
The composer later referred to this chord as his "passport to the Concerto".(Dushkin 1949, 182)
Stravinsky began sketching the Concerto in Paris early in 1931,
with composition beginning in earnest in Nice,
where the first two movements were completed and the third begun.
In the summer, Stravinsky moved to the Château de la Véronnière in Voreppe in Isère,
where he completed the third movement and wrote all of the fourth (White 1979, 369).
The manuscripts are dated May 20, 1931 for the first two movements and June 10, 1931
for the third, all in Nice, with no date given for the fourth.
The full orchestral score is signed and dated "Voreppe (Isère) la Vironnière, 13/25. Sept. 1931" (White 1979, 368).
Though Stravinsky told his publisher he wanted to write "a true virtuoso concerto",
"the texture is always more characteristic of chamber music than orchestral music" (V. Stravinsky and Craft 1978, 306).
He also observed "I did not compose a cadenza, not because I did not care about exploiting violin virtuosity,
but because the violin in combination was my real interest.
But virtuosity for its own sake has only a small role in my Concerto,
and the technical demands of the piece are relatively tame" (Stravinsky and Craft 1963, 80).