In March 2014, the Xiamen University – which, with more than 40.000 students, is one of China’s most important universities and of international renown – invited Nikolai Badinski to present his music and give lectures in the frame of the prestigious „Nanqiang” Lectures of Excellence. Furthermore, the composer was honoured with the badge of honour of the Xiamen University.
Nikolai Badinski on the world première of his Violin Concerto No. 2:
With the successful and convincing realisation of the 42 years delayed world première of my lost Violin Concerto No. 2 – performed by the Shanghai violinist Zhi-Jong Wang and the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra under Renchang Fu – the young and extremely gifted soloist Zhi-Jong Wang has categorically confirmed a prediction that I made one year ago – that she is a star of tomorrow. Only that she already plays like a star.
The Second Violin Concerto is part of a trilogy *) of violin concertos. It was written at about the same time as the third one. It was lost along with several of my other compositions, when I escaped from East to West Berlin in 1976. Only many years after the German Unification of 1990 did it resurface again.
The philosophical idea underlying the composition is the relationship of a young individual to society. Finding ones place in the community is one of the central aims, and gives meaning to ones life. It is of great importance for a young person to find the connection between the “I” and the “We”, and to actively participate in community life in order to contribute to creating a better world.
The first movement starts with a long monologue of the solo violin, after which the orchestral instruments enter one by one transparently, creating an idyllic, colorful, and almost “romantic” atmosphere.
At the end of this meditation or contemplation of the individual, the second movement begins without interruption (attacca), with an outburst of vitality by means of fiery, almost wild rhythms, illustrating the whirling of life in society; a real manifestation of “Sturm und Drang.”
The whole concerto radiates youthful energy and emotional vitality. Fiery and sometimes boisterous rhythms confront a lively melodic and a rich, colorful sound-scope. The appreciative solo part allows the violinist to display true musicality and rich imagination at a high technical level, thereby creating an exciting performance. The orchestra is not simply accompanying the solo violin, it shapes the musical processes as an equal partner.
*) Each of these three Violin Concertos can be played separately, but I conceived them all together as a Trilogy, like a Violin “Encyclopaedia” with Orchestra – a true challenge for the soloist.