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Laurie Niles

2012 Tournament, Round 1, Day 3: Bruch Violin Concerto vs. Shostakovich Violin Concerto

March 14, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Are you ready for Day 3 of the Violin Concerto Tournament? Today it's the Bruch Violin Concerto vs. the Shostakovich Violin Concerto

Bruch Shostakovich

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 by Max Bruch

This was Max Bruch's most famous composition, completed in 1866. Though his first violin concerto assured him a kind of immortality, he never received much money from it!

Here is Joshua Bell playing the first two movements (I love the way he plays the Romantic lit) and -- since there was no Youtube of Josh playing Movement 3 -- we have Maxim Vengerov, which I like because he plays it with finesse; it's not violent! (We sometimes can get violinists really assailing this last movement!)

Part 1: Movement 1:

Part 2: Movement 2, Adagio:

Part 3: Movement 3, Allegro energico (with Maxim Vengerov):

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Opus 77 by Dmitri Shostakovich:

This was written in the late 1940s but wasn't played until 1955 because the Soviet Union's government had denounced Shostakovich for failing to comply with Soviet cultural policy. The concerto was dedicated to Soviet violinist David Oistrakh. Here is David Oistrakh, with Heinz Fricke conducting the Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin:

Part 1, Movement 1, "Nocturne: Moderato"

Part 2, Movement 1 continued; and Movement 2, "Scherzo: Allegro":
Part 3, Movement 2, continued; and Movement 3, "Passacaglia: Andante":
Part 4: Movement 3, continued; cadenza:
Part 5: Movement 4 "Burlesque: Allegro con brio - Presto":

From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 8:39 PM
bruch in lead? seriously? Shostakobich is the cold war concert, cant be bigger. Bruch is nice, but really... ;)
From Jane Smith-Bodden
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM
Bruch is a wonderful concerto....but Shostakovich I can't live without!!
From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM
I've been learning the Shostakovich; it's actually pretty violinistic. Hard to get the music!
From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 9:48 PM
omg, I cant believe this... if bruch wins... its nowhere near shostakovich also bruch as an composer is not as important as shostakovich... I really cant believe this. Do you all listen to night of the proms or what?
From Emily Hogstad
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM
GUYZZZZ. Shostakovich!!111! And I LOVE the Bruch, more than most people. But it's SHOSTAKOVICH CONCERTO. The cadenza alone is worth the entire Bruch. It's a soul in music.
From steven su
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I think we should have the video of Zukerman playing Bruch instead of Joshua. Much better
From Marty Dalton
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I don't like the Shostakovich.
Posted on March 14, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I can't believe Bruch is winning too, I can't live without Shostakovich too!!!!

From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:04 AM

at least some sane people here!

From Terry Hsu
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:17 AM
I don't know the Shostokovich concerto at all but I'm becoming a big fan with these links. Both Oistrakh and Kogan are huge favorites of mine. I haven't voted yet, tell me why I should vote Shosty, or Bruch. I certainly know the Bruch concerto.

That said, my tournament bracket has Bruch winning. But I don't mind voting against the "bag." :)

From Corwin Slack
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 2:14 AM
This is a very good pairing for a contest round as neither concerto is all that good but for my money I will listen to 10 Bruchs for 1 S.
From Yixi Zhang
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 4:33 AM
I too think Shostakovich is amazing, but I can see Bruch is winning. After all it is gorgeous and occupies a special spot in our hears for being the first major piece many of us studied. When we have no agreed set of criteria, I'm prepared to accept whatever reasons people wish to base their choice on.
From Karis Crawford
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:02 AM
This was actually a hard choice for me. I adore both pieces. I'm currently dusting off the Bruch to perform later in the year and have worked a bit on the Shostakovich as well. Shostakovich wins in the end for me just for the story behind the composer. Researching Shostakovich's life has been a hobby of mine since I was introduced to his symphonies by my youth symphony conductor back in my teens. This conductor really helped inspire me musically and even loaned me all the books he ever owned on Shostakovich just so I could read about him. I'm eternally grateful to him for that because I believe in the end this was one of the reasons I decided to major in music in university. I've never looked back!
From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:39 AM
A note from the editor, here: By all means, please do share your favorite links, and I'll do my best to come in and make them "live" hyperlinks. I'm putting together quite a lot in a short time, so also, if you have ideas for the upcoming votes, e-mail me!
From Laurie Niles
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 6:46 AM
My whole nefarious plan here is to get people talking about what recordings are best, what concertos are best, why you like them, etc. Because I know nothing about basketball! Except that I think Northwestern won some game that was not the NCAA tournament but is still pretty good-ish?
From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Interesting to me is, that the opinion differs from beginners to professionals. I think there will be not so much studied violinists who would say the Bruch is superior to the Shostakovich.
If music would be something to compare I would say that neither musically nor historically the Bruch comes near to the Shostakovich.
To me Shostakovich's Violin Concertos are one of the greats of the last century. From the mood similar to sibelius somehow. The Cadenza (played by Oistrakh especially) is something that captured me from the first time I listened to it and is one of the most powerful pieces of Violin music I know.
The Bruch, while having some beautiful melodies inside, has nothing new to give to me. Even the unknown and unpopular Schumann Concerto in my eyes has more to offer musically.
From Matthew Dakoutros
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 1:10 PM
I think Bruch is going to win. I really like the piece, but for me Shostakovich is way superior, though Bruch maybe one of the most recognizable concertos.
From Dottie Case
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM
And it's always the refs fault when a 'clearly inferior' team wins against what everybody knows is an obviously superior one. :)

Beginners vs. Professionals? Luckily we have a whole lot more representation than just those divisions here.

Fun game but some of the comments are.....interesting.

From Matthew Dakoutros
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM
Shostakovich however is one of my favorite composers. His 134 sonata is amazing, as is his viola sonata, and his symphonies.

Though not a link for the concerto but still amazing music.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM
I saw Midori perform the Shostakovich live some years ago, and I have to admit, I really didn't like it. She played with an odd, hunched over posture the whole time. That was quite distracting and wasn't what I expected from her. Good for her for experimenting, but some experiments work out better than others. Oistrakh's performance here is much more appealing to me, but I still prefer Bruch. Sorry Simon :)
From Paul Deck
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM
@Simon, "I think there will be not so much studied violinists who would say the Bruch is superior..."

I like the Shostakovich violin concerto better too, and I agree that the Bruch will attract a lot of votes simply because more v.commies have studied it. But that is precisely why I voted for the Bruch ... because I think it will win.

Remember, this is a GAME.

From Terry Hsu
Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM
So Paul, In other words, are you trying to tell us all that you're selling out all of your musical convictions for a bag? ;)
From Matthew Dakoutros
Posted on March 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM
From Paul Deck
Posted on March 17, 2012 at 1:53 AM
@Terry LOL but it IS a cool bag!

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