in B minor, op 61

Elgar at the piano
A concerto for solo violin and full orchestra in three movements:
1 - Allegro; 2 - Andante; 3 - Allegro molto.

Approximate Length : 45 minutes
First Performance :
Date : 10 November 1910
Venue : Philharmonic Society Concert,
Queen's Hall, London
Conductor : the composer
Soloist : Fritz Kreisler
Commissioned by : The Philharmonic Society
Dedicated to : Fritz Kreisler

Elgar was at the height ofhis fame when the Philharmonic Society commissioned this concerto in 1909. The work was dedicated to Fritz Kreisler, the internationally famous violinist who was the soloist at its first performance. However, the score also carries the inscription : "Aqui esta encerrada el alma de....." ("Herein is enshrined the soul of...."), a quotation from the novel Gil Blas by Lesage. This is widely accepted to be a reference to Alice Stuart-Wortley, a close friend whom he nicknamed Windflower and who is generally recognised as Elgar's inspiration for the work.

The work is long for a violin concerto and expansive in mood but nevertheless compelling and not overblown. It contains none of the pomposity and swagger found in many of Elgar's works which some commentators find disturbing and rather distasteful. The work is firmly established in the classical repertoire although not performed frequently.

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