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    Votes: 1 2.7%
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    Votes: 7 18.9%
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    Votes: 26 70.3%
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probably the greatest violin concerto ever, but not my personal favourite; mendelssohn and tchaikovsky are respectively more beautiful and exciting; regarding the performances there is no doubt in my mind that heifetz was the greatest violinist up to now; but i prefer to listen to contemporary versions from j.janssen, repin, i.faust (belohlavek version), kopa, ehnes and kavakos; the reasons are obvious: better sound, superlative understanding of the score, extraordinary orchestras
 

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I've been a Beethoven fan since puberty. But I've never been a big fan of his violin concerto. It always sounds to me like it was originally written for another instrument. It doesn't fit the violin very well imo (in the first part). All those scales remind me of my violin lessons. If anyone thinks violin is a whimper, I wouldn't play the Beethoven violin concerto to prove otherwise. In the Mozart, Mendelssohn concertos, Saint Saens rondo capriccioso (!) the violin sings much more.

While I think Beethovens violin sonatas are the best of its kind - together with Mozart. The violin at its best.
 

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I've been a Beethoven fan since puberty. But I've never been a big fan of his violin concerto. It always sounds to me like it was originally written for another instrument. It doesn't fit the violin very well imo (in the first part). All those scales remind me of my violin lessons. If anyone thinks violin is a whimper, I wouldn't play the Beethoven violin concerto to prove otherwise. In the Mozart, Mendelssohn concertos, Saint Saens rondo capriccioso (!) the violin sings much more.

While I think Beethovens violin sonatas are the best of its kind - together with Mozart. The violin at its best.
As Beethoven had written 9 violin sonatas, about as many string quartets, two romances, 5 string trios and some more music with strings before the violin concerto (and unlike e.g. Brahms he had played violin and/or viola at provincial tutti level in his youth) I don't think he didn't know enough about technique and possibilities of the instrument. I believe he wanted to make a really "symphonic" concerto, therefore restricting the role of the violin in the first movement.
 

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Grumiaux's first recording accompanied by Alceo Galliera is my go-to performance. I've never heard another account which draws me in as completely as this one always does.
I think that there are at least three commercial recordings with Grumiaux - with van Beinum (my favorite), Galliera, and Davis.

Kogan/Silvestri is another of my favorites. It always surprises me how rarely Kogan is mentioned in threads like this one.
 

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Reminds me of Joseph Joachim's famous quote about German violin concertos:
"The Germans have four violin concertos. The greatest, most uncompromising is Beethoven's. The one by Brahms vies with it in seriousness. The richest, the most seductive, was written by Max Bruch. But the most inward, the heart's jewel, is Mendelssohn's." (Wikipedia)

Personally, I enjoy all four equally. As for Beethoven's violin concerto, my "benchmark recording" remains that of Henryk Szerying with Bernard Haitink, recorded in the seventies:

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Kogan/Silvestri is another of my favorites. It always surprises me how rarely Kogan is mentioned in threads like this one.
Kogan's recordings are badly distributed and not well known, unless one is actively seeking them out. Or old enough to remember Ariola Eurodisc LPs of Melodiya recordings (I am barely old enough but I didn't have any Kogan on LP). For instance, the concertos with Silvestri are not included in the (otherwise complete?) Silvestri box on EMI...
 

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Kogan's recordings are badly distributed and not well known, unless one is actively seeking them out. Or old enough to remember Ariola Eurodisc LPs of Melodiya recordings (I am barely old enough but I didn't have any Kogan on LP). For instance, the concertos with Silvestri are not included in the (otherwise complete?) Silvestri box on EMI...
I was fortunate to find a copy of this set; it didn't stay in print very long, though:

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It's also available - and much cheaper - on this set:

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the first movement is insufferably long and far from consistently inspired -- too much passagework. The rest is better but I tend not to like violin concertos in general so I guess I'm more likely than others to moan...
 

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This is one of the greatest masterpieces in the repertoire. I was brought up on Heifetz’s recording which does respect Beethoven’s marking of Allegro ma non troppo for the first movement. It is not Andante as many play it. For more recent performers Patricia Kopatchinskaja is terrific. Just as Lug intended I think
 

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This is one of the greatest masterpieces in the repertoire. I was brought up on Heifetz’s recording which does respect Beethoven’s marking of Allegro ma non troppo for the first movement. It is not Andante as many play it. For more recent performers Patricia Kopatchinskaja is terrific. Just as Lug intended I think
I would say Heifetz plays it at Molto Allegro. I don’t think I’ve heard a version that seriously sounds like an Andante in the first movement. The point is the character you are going for. The “ma non troppo” is there for a reason.
 

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I would say Heifetz plays it at Molto Allegro. I don’t think I’ve heard a version that seriously sounds like an Andante in the first movement. The point is the character you are going for. The “ma non troppo” is there for a reason.
allegro ma non troppo means ‘quick but not too quick’ which is how Heifetz plays it. Motto Allegro is ‘very fast indeed’ which it is not
 

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An excellent concerto. I rate it as an 8.5/10 in terms of how much I like it. My favorite movement is the first.

By the way, allegro ma non troppo is still in the speed range of allegro, and therefore should be played fast and lively, more so than allegretto or andante.
 

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I think one clue to the tempo of the first movement is not mainly "ma non troppo" but that the main theme is felt in half notes and that 16th appear only as figurations and there are no (or very few) faster figurations (such as 16th triplets) in the violin. This is a clear difference to e.g. the first movement of the 4th piano concerto that has lots of faster/smaller figurations and the main theme in 8th notes. Some people, IIRC Kolisch in his tempo suggestions for Beethoven, claim that the violinc concerto should be basically alla breve, i.e. in half notes.
There are clues that movements going in half notes are not necessarily denoted as alla breve ("cut time" 2/2), e.g. the 1st movement of first symphony has alla breve marking, the second has 4/4 but the second as almost as fast a MM marking as the 1st (100 vs. 112, IIRC) and the main theme of 2,i is more clearly going in halfs or even whole bars than in the 1st. According to Kolisch a comparable movement with explicit alla breve to the violin concerto is the first of the cello sonata op.69.
 
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