More about this playlist

To this day, great violinists are directly connected to the great violinists of the 19th century by a sequence of only a few generations. The legendary teacher Ivan Galamian, for example, who worked in America, was a grand-disciple of Leopold von Auer. The latter had studied with the violinist and friend of Brahms, Joseph Joachim, and founded the tradition of Russian virtuosity. Our playlist features one of Galamian’s students, Itzhak Perlman. In turn, Gil Shaham, who is almost a generation younger, studied with Galamian’s successor Dorothy Delay. Lisa Batiashvili, Janine Jansen, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Leonidas Kavakos are also connected to the Russian or the influential Belgian-French school through their teachers. What the artists on our playlist have in common is their long-standing partnership with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The earliest work in the selection is Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, which, with its symphonic dimensions and the equality of solo and orchestral parts, marks a turning point in the history of the genre. Following on from Brahms, the classical Modernists Alban Berg and Béla Bartók also drew on Beethoven’s masterpiece, each in their own tonal language. The other violin concertos presented here also show a wide range of expression: Sibelius atmospherically dense and formally idiosyncratic, Korngold is bluntly late-Romantic, Saint-Saëns brilliantly virtuosic, and Britten is fractured and passionate.

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