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Thread: Prefer's Schumann's Violin Concerto to Mendelssohn

  1. #16
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    I enjoy both works. The solemn darkness of the first movement of the Schumann is balanced by some beautiful moments (the second theme, anyone?). I do think that the third movement does not flow as well as the first, although one can say this of other violin concerti too (as in Tchaikovsky's concerto - love the work, but not sure about the lethargy of the slow sections in the finale). As I recently mentioned in another thread, I think that Mendelssohn's E minor concerto is one of the most perfect works structurally and expressively. It also works nicely on the fingers.

    Mendelssohn's D minor, though somewhat immature, is also worth a listen. Not bad, considering the guy was 13.

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  3. #17
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    When comparing the Schumann with the Mendelssohn, stating the Schumann is on the same level....well to put it gently....it's simply not true.

    However, anybody can PREFER the Schumann over the Mendelssohn. Be my guest!
    Last edited by hpowders; Oct-10-2014 at 14:15.

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  5. #18
    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    The only thing by Schumann I ever took an immediate liking to was the first movement of his "Rhenish" Symphony. It took some time before I came to appreciate not only the rest of it but also his "Spring" Symphony, which eventually became and still is my favorite of his symphonies. It was even longer before I appreciated his Piano Concerto and Scenes From Childhood. But to cut to the chase, I had never given his Violin Concerto a thorough listen---until now. After reading through this thread, I decided to do just that. Indeed, I am close to being shocked. Maybe it's just better to say I am most pleasantly surprised, and all the more so because it is the first time I have ever found myself instantly attracted in toto to any piece by Schumann. As mentioned elsewhere, I have long enjoyed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, but after just really hearing Schumann's Concerto for the first time, I am prepared to acknowledge I experience at least as much satisfaction with it as Mendelssohn's. Musically, I find the two concertos to be horses of a somewhat different color. I'll say no more, except that I'm planning to give the Schumann another listen very soon. Incidentally, the performance was by Szeryng/Dorati.

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  7. #19
    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Still Mendelssohn's violin concertos to me. In fact, it's a violin concerto with many originality in it. While on Schumann, it's sounds like unfocused typical Romantic violin concertos. Of many Romantic VC, I can see why Schumann the least mentioned. Btw, I listen to Schumann VC by Hendrik Szeryng.
    Last edited by jurianbai; Jan-11-2017 at 23:55.

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  9. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurianbai View Post
    Still Mendelssohn's violin concertos to me. In fact, it's a violin concerto with many originality in it. While on Schumann, it's sounds like unfocused typical Romantic violin concertos. Of many Romantic VC, I can see why Schumann the least mentioned. Btw, I listen to Schumann VC by Hendrik Szeryng.
    Very good choice and taste I might add.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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  11. #21
    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    I just completed a second hearing of the Schumann Concerto. Before returning to the performance by Szeryng, I listened to excerpts from Gidon Kremer's take with Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In contrast to Szeryng, I found the violinist's playing partially lacking a sense of life, especially during the opening movement. As indicated in yesterday's comments above, I alluded to the somewhat different styles of the Mendelssohn and Schumann Concertos. Within the context of an obviously romantic tone, one immediately recognizes elements of a weightier, more deliberate quality in Schumann's orchestration. This contrasts with Mendelssohn's lighter, more easily flowing character. While both composers also display an attractive lyricism, Mendelssohn's seems to possess more of a soaring nature(at least for me). Nonetheless, Schumann's melodiousness is perfectly capable of sounding captivating in its own way. My point is that while these and other stylistic differences exist, both offer the listener potentially satisfying listening experiences. This is precisely what I get from both composers' works. It's nice to be able to enjoy a variety of diverse musical flavors.
    Last edited by Haydn67; Jan-13-2017 at 04:59. Reason: choice of words

  12. #22
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    The Mendelssohn Violin Concerto has become so well known that it is understandable that some listeners may be a bit tired of hearing it. The far less frequently played and recorded Schumann can become more interesting as it is less familiar and therefore sounds fresher.
    Nonetheless, I still believe the Mendelssohn to be, for my taste, the much better piece. I do have two versions of the Schumann.
    One by Kantorow with the Netherlands Philharmonic. The other is a quite recent recording that I purchased after reading some highly positive reviews - Skride with the Danish Symphony Orchestra - which is very good.
    I have 5 versions of the Mendelssohn - Heifetz, Stern, Milstein, Swensen & Quint.

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  14. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post
    The Mendelssohn Violin Concerto has become so well known that it is understandable that some listeners may be a bit tired of hearing it. The far less frequently played and recorded Schumann can become more interesting as it is less familiar and therefore sounds fresher.
    Nonetheless, I still believe the Mendelssohn to be, for my taste, the much better piece. I do have two versions of the Schumann.
    One by Kantorow with the Netherlands Philharmonic. The other is a quite recent recording that I purchased after reading some highly positive reviews - Skride with the Danish Symphony Orchestra - which is very good.
    I have 5 versions of the Mendelssohn - Heifetz, Stern, Milstein, Swensen & Quint.
    Kantarov was very popular years ago in Holland special in Rotterdam .
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

  15. #24
    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post
    I have 5 versions of the Mendelssohn - Heifetz, Stern, Milstein, Swensen & Quint.
    I too have Stern and Milstein. Both are very fine, though Stern/Ormandy is a sentimental favorite. Another excellent performance is the Zuckerman/Bernstein. It was the violinist's inaugural recording.

  16. #25
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    For those interested in auditioning another, Storgards/Segerstam (Ondine, rec.1996). The added mustard pays dividends. An equally attractive performance for Op. 129's violin arrangement.


  17. #26
    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Another suggestion, Schumann: Violin Concerti, Opp. 129 (arr. violin), posth., w. Irnberger/Spirit of Europe/Sieghart (Gramola, rec.2007).


  18. #27
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    I can't choose as I like both the concertos, Schumann having the edge, although the concerto I seem to be returning to now most is the forgotten one by Dietrich [Schumannesque in spirit and concise like Mendelssohn!]

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  20. #28
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    Schumann's Violin Concerto FTW.

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