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Violin Concerto Violin concerto: list of CD Violin Sonatas

This section is not intended to be a review of existing CDs. Good critics have done this already, and are experts on the subject. I just wish to draw your attention to particular works and interpretations.
Title The concerto for violin opus 61 played on the violin of Paganini

Philarmonia - 1995
Violon: Bin Huang
Direction: Michele Trenti
Genoa Youth Philharmonic

The "Cannone" was offered to Nicolo Paganini in 1802 by Monsieur Livron, an amateur musician from Livourne. At the time Paganini was twenty years old, and the violin nearly sixty. It was the commencement of their shared career.

The instrument is without doubt the best by Giuseppe Bartolomeo Guarneri, and it is exceptional for its general characteristics and purity: the polish, the superb quality, throughout the instrument, and the body is original, which is unusual for a historical instrument. In 150 years only the accessories have changed.

The CD is accompanied by a CD rom which presents the work, the violin, the composer, the musician, and also included some video footage. A very good initiative.

This information and more can be found in the CD booklet.

This cdrom presents the work, the violin, the composer, the musician, and includes some video passages. A very good initiative.
Title The concerto for violin opus 61

Beethoven composed only one concerto for violin. It is in D major, and carries the opus number 61.

The concerto was composed and performed in 1806. It was published in 1808 and is dedicated to Beethoven's longtime friend, Stephan von Breuning.

Beethoven adapted the same concerto into a concerto for piano. This last was dedicated to Julia von Breuning, wife of Stephan.

There exist three numbered versions of the concerto. It is often accompanied by the two romances for violin opus 40 and opus 50.
To each his own taste and favourite performers…

Cd Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Calliope - 2000
Jan Talich
Talich Chamber Orchestra
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Title Cadenzas for the concerto for violin opus 61

Cd Beethoven: Violin Concerto

Biddulph Recordings - 1994
Orchestra del Chianti
Piero Bellugi.

A cadenza is a free solo section by the composer: the soloist may write their own or improvises. This is a very difficult exercise, and an invitation which the composer offers.

Beethoven did not write a cadenza for his violin concerto. But there exists an equivalent in the transcription for piano. This cadenza, when readapted for the violin, is the "Beethoven" cadenza.

But the CD proposes thirteen others: Ferdinand David, Henri Vieuxtemps, Joseph Joachim (2), Ferdinand Laub, Henryk Wieniawski, Camille Saint-Saëns, Leopold Auer, Eugène Ysaÿe, Ferruccio Busoni, Fritz Kreisler, Nathan Milstein and Alfred Schnittke.

The organisation of the tracks on the CD allow you to choose your cadenza, and then programme it: here are fourteen concertos and one only!

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Title Two original cadenzas for the violin concerto

CD Beethoven Violin Concerto

Point Classics - 1994
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Michael Gielen conducts
The Symphony Orchestra of the Südwestfunk

Christian Tetzlaff, presents to us his cadenza, that is to say an arrangement of that which Beethoven wrote for piano and kettledrums.

Gidon Kremer performs a cadenza for violin, piano and kettledrums, after the cadenza by Beethoven.

CD Beethoven Violin Concerto

Teldec - 1993
Gidon Kremer, violin
Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Available at



Available at


Title Concerto for violin on period instruments

The warmth and delicacy of sound of these instruments never ceases to amaze me. They consistently invite us to listen anew, more attentively than before, and with a new regard for the works which we thought we knew.

Frans Brüggen is again involved in work of great quality. The violin and the orchestra sound the harmonies of a past century.

With strength and finesse, this interpretation is full of colour and again works its magic.

The cd is heartily recommended.

Cd Beethoven
Philips - 1998
Thomas Zehztmair, violin
Frans Brüggen, conductor
Orchestra of the 18th century
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Title The concerto for piano after the concerto for violin opus 61

The first work of the triple CD is the adaption, made by Beethoven, of the violin concerto for piano.

Amadeus Webersinke is the pianist, and Kurt Masur conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Cd Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Der Unbekannte Beethoven Vol. I
Berlin Classics - 1995
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Title The concerto for clarinet after the concerto for violin opus 61
Cd Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Deutsche Grammophon - 2000
Russian National Orchestra
Clarinette: Michael Collins
Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev

Beethoven did not write a concerto for clarinet, nor did he transcribe a concerto for this instrument. This regrettable circumstance led Mikhail Pletnev to realise an arrangement of the violin concerto for clarinet, conducting the Russian National Orchestra, and assisted in the performance by the soloist and his accomplice, Michael Collins.

The few changes to the orchestration are the best way of ensuring the predominance of the clarinet, which risks becoming imperceptible at times. The respect to the original is constant.

This may disrupt the listener who knows the version for violin well, but nevertheless has much charm.

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Title The concerto for flute after the concerto for violin opus 61

Beethoven did not write a concerto for clarinet, or transcribe one of his other concertos for this instrument. But that was without reckoning on William Bennett who performed his own transcription of this work.

This magnificent concerto, which inspires soloists of all instruments, bears these affronts decidedly well.

Less warm than the clarinet, the flute is surprisingly charming. The flautist is perfect, powerful and very accurate on long or very high passages.

The cadenzas are by William Bennett. A curiosity.

Also on the CD: the concerto for flute by Frederich Schwindl.

Disque Beethoven
Camerata - 1998
English Chamber Orchestra
Flute: William Bennett
Conductor: Steuart Bedford
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Title Concerto for guitar after the concerto for violin opus 61
Cd Beethoven
RCA - 1982
New japan Philharmonic
Guitar: Kazuhito Yamashita
Conductor: Yukinori Tezuka

Yes, you read correctly: here is a transcription for guitar of the violin concerto of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Once the first moment of surprise has passed, we await the worst. And yet, it never happens.

The first movement is very musical and the guitar takes its place with the same spirit.

Then the second movement, where the guitar does not totally succeed in filling the musical space. A regret all the same: the third movement is less drum like as it usually is towards the end.

Certainly a collector’s item…

Thank you Michel for the discovery!
Note: this is a LP, not a cd
Title Fragments for a concerto for violin WoO 5

The CD, realised for the 250th anniversary of the orchestra of Leipzig, notably includes three works for violin:

- the romance for violin opus 40, in G major, for orchestra and violin (1802);

- the romance for violin opus 50, in F major, for orchestra and violin (1802);

- fragment of the first movement - Allegro con brio - of the concerto for violin and orchestra WoO 5, in C major. This work was never completed (1790-1792).

Cd Beethoven: Violin Concerto

Berlin Classics - 1993
Violon: Karl Suske
Conductor: Heinz Bongartz
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
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Title Fragments of the concerto for Violin WoO 5, new reconstruction

Cd Beethoven

Inedita - Beethoven Rareties Vol. 1
Orchestra Sinfonica di Sassari
Roberto Diem Tigani
Violin: Marco Rogliano

Inedita specialise in editions of rare works. The first volume of the works of Ludwig van Beethoven include a version of the fragment of the 1st movement - Allegro con brio - of the concerto for violin and orchestra WoO 5, in C major. This work was never completed (1790-1792).

This work has been reconstructed by Robert Diem Tigani. The book explains the choices made by Robert Tigani at the time of his work on the reconstruction.

Also on the CD, the two German Dances, WoO 8, and the Musik zu einem Ritterballet, WoO 1.

A CD of very good quality, strongly recommended.


you can read the presentation and the analysis of this work
Many thanks to Melanie PIDDOCKE for her translation of this page from French into English
Ludwig van Beethoven's website -
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