Karol Szymanowski: Concerto No. 1

Karol Szymanowski Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 1

Karol Szymanowski: Concerto No. 1

Opus:
op. 35
Year of composition:
1916
Version:
reduced version
Scored for:
for violin and orchestra
Composer:
Karol Szymanowski
Instrumentation:
2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc, hp, pno, str
Instrumentation details:
2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc, hp, pno, str
Duration:
24’
Dedication:
Für Paul Kochanski
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Work introduction

Distinctly characterised by his earlier style, Szymanowski’s first violin concerto is extra-refined in its sound; the orchestra, unusually rich in its make-up, shimmers in all its colours, supported by harmonies shot through with chromatics.

The solo part is extraordinarily virtuosic, while the work’s formal layout is easily perceptible despite its one-movement plan, thanks to the clearly demarcated sections; an introduction is followed by a virtuoso vivace as the initial large formal element, and a calm tempo comodo allows for melodic ornamentation.

A large section beginning vivace assai (scherzando) evinces diverse variations before it flows into a cadenza for the solo violin. After a tumultuous entrance of the orchestra, the tempo calms gradually until the end in a fraying close.

Translation Copyright © 2012 by Grant Chorley

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