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Laurie Niles

2012 Tournament, Round 2, Day 3: Beethoven vs. Bruch

March 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM

We are still in the process of picking our "final four" here in Round 2 of the Violin Concerto Tournament. Just to bring you up to date, last week Mendelssohn solidly won out over Vivaldi Four Seasons, 78 percent to 22 percent, and Sibelius squeaked past the Brahms Concerto, 58 percent to 42 percent. (Ben Beilman, I think this might have been due, in part, to the video of your performance!) If you want to see how this has unfolded from the beginning, please visit our Tournament Page.

Today, please choose your favorite between….

Beethoven Violin Concerto vs. Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor

Beethoven Bruch

…and let's have some fun listening to these pieces:

Sarah Chang plays the first two movements of the Bruch:

Itzhak Perlman plays the last movement of the Beethoven, with Daniel Barenboim and the Berliner Philharmoniker:

As always, please add your thoughts, your favorites, your outrage, your gratitude, etc.

From elise stanley
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM
The Bruch is surely almost everyone's favorite violin concerto - but it can never beat the big B. Thats in a different class entirely...

From Paul Deck
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM
The Bruch Concerto is to the Beethoven Concerto as Bruch is to Beethoven. To me it's that simple.
From Kathryn Woodby
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 1:20 AM
I totally agree with elise and paul...and yet, i voted bruch. Has too much of my heart to let him down :)
From Steve Wyrick
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 2:24 AM
The Bruch concerto doesn't do anything for me; I much prefer his Scottish Fantasy. But neither beats Beethoven!
From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 6:01 AM
Too bad Sarah Chang is missing.[*]

I've never seen Perlman looking like he's grunting over a piece before. Yet his hands look as effortless as usual.
[*] Must be my browser--when I went back, she was there and Perlman was blacked out.

From Matthew Dakoutros
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM
Bruch is nice, but nothig compared to Beethoven, simple as that.
From Michael Pijoan
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 9:04 AM
Oh Beethoven all the way. Easy choice.
From Simon Streuff
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Bruch to Beethoven to me is like Bruch to Shostakovich ;)
Ok I dislike the Bruch Concerto. I have the same Phenomenon others have with Mendelssohn with Bruch. I heard it so often played bad and pathetic. Its still a nice Concerto, but to me the interest in this piece vanished over the years.
From elise stanley
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM
I just want to add that the Sarah Chang version of the Bruch first movement is possibly the best I have heard - thanks for that link Laurie. Its expressive, has a clear message and is also original - but does anyone know of a better one?
From Nicky Paxton
Posted on March 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I voted Beethoven in any case, but have to agree with Simon in considering Bruch 1 overplayed despite its merits. Thanks to Laurie for pointing out that a new vote cancels out a previous vote by the same member: in this instance I seem to have got logged out automatically through the night and so had to re-record my vote in order to see the graph.

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