Beethoven's Violin Concerto

2137 Words Oct 15th, 2011 9 Pages
Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the greatest and most influential composers in the history of music. His Violin Concerto in D Major has been played by nearly every soloist in the past 150 years and, today, it is one of the major works in violin repertoire. Since its premiere by Franz Clement in the winter of 1806, many aspects of the violin, bow, and performance have undergone changes. This paper discusses the modern day knowledge of Beethoven 's Violin Concerto, and how it is influencing the way violinists interpret and perform the concerto. It also points out some of the different performance styles starting from Clement 's time to the present day. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) was born in Bonn, which is part of modern …show more content…
Joachim also composed two cadenzas for the concerto, but most players today choose the Viennese violinist Fritz Kreisler 's cadenzas from the 1920 's.8 When Beethoven was writing the Violin Concerto, orchestral instruments were very similar to those used in Haydn 's and Mozart 's time.9 During the 19th century, violin luthiers were trying to recreate Italian Stradivari and Guarneri models, including the most famous luthier in Germany during Beethoven 's time. Rode, Kruetzer, Baillot, all alive during Beethoven 's time period, were known to play on Stradivarius violins, with pernambuco wood bows that were of the Tourte style.10 François Tourte was the most innovative bow maker of all times, and he invented the modern bow, which produced a bigger sound, and allowed for a new galaxy of bow techniques. All subsequent bows have been variations of the Tourte style. Violins during Beethoven 's time used gut strings, made from sheep or goat intestines. It produced a softer, darker sound than that of modern strings made of metal and synthetic materials, introduced around the third quarter of the 19th century. Other changes to the violin after Beethoven 's time include the use of the chin and shoulder rests, which were created by the violinist Louis Spohr (1784 – 1859). The chin rest lifts the the chin above the violin, so that it does not have to touch the violin top, allowing it resonate better with less damping.11 Many of the
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