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Home>Beethoven Music>Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major op. 61

Beethoven's Violin Concerto

Beethoven’s only violin concerto was finished in 1806 and was composed for four violinists. It is one of the most popular violin concertos ever written and through it, Beethoven contributes to the evolution of the genre by eliminating the conventional elements, which dominated the genre in the 18th century. He brought it closer to the symphonic genre, thus widening the sphere of expectations with regard to both the musicians and the listeners.

Part I – Allegro ma non troppo – starts with the rendering of the theme by the orchestra and continues with the solo violin presenting the two themes in a cadence with introductory role. Here are the two themes of the sonata in the first part:

Excerpt from Beethven's Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61, Part I
Excerpt from Beethven's Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61, Part I

Part II – Larghetto – is based on a lyrical musical theme of great musicality, which, according to some specialists is of Russian origin.

Excerpt from Beethven's Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61, Part II

Part III – Rondo – starts abruptly with the musical theme rendered by the solo violin. The passage from the second part is made without the usual break. An element of novelty in this part is the fact that the composer does not write the cadence for violin, but allows the violinist to improvise, thus showing his technical and interpretational qualities.

Excerpt from Beethven's Violin Concerto in D major Op. 61, Part III

After its premiere on December 23rd, 1806, the work was, for the longest of time, not actually recognized for its beauties and neither as one of the most challenging works of this genre. It would take another "Wunderkind" of the 19th century, namely the composer Felix Mendelssohn, to re-introduce this work to the public during the mid-1800's, after which time it continued to remain in the concert repertoires in its rightful place which it, along with its never-diminishing popularity, still holds today.


Read more about Beethoven's Concertos
  1. Piano Concerto no. 1 in C major op. 15
  2. Piano Concerto no. 2 in B flat major op. 19
  3. Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor op. 37
  4. Piano Concerto no. 4 in G major op. 58
  5. Piano Concerto no. 5 “Emperor” in E flat major op. 73
  6. Violin Concerto in D major op. 61
  7. Triple Concerto for piano, violin and cello in C major op. 56


Read more about Beethoven's music
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1. Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris;

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