Sometimes a work can be a little too successful: at some point Max Bruch grew tired of his first Violin Concerto (1866/68), as he wrote on various occasions. After all, he had composed other works, including two more concertos for violin!
With all due sympathy for the composer who felt misunderstood, it is fortunate that he composed this concerto. It has everything we love about great Romantic violin concertos – wonderful melodies with catchy, virtuoso passages for the solo violin, a skilfully engaged orchestra and, last but not least, a pinch of weltschmerz. All this comes into its own when played by an outstanding violinist like Renaud Capuçon.
Pablo Heras-Casado and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin remain in the 19th century for the rest of the programme, with Felix Mendelssohn’s overture to the tragic and beautiful mermaid Melusine from 1833 and the famous “Rhenish” by Robert Schumann, which premiered in February 1851.
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