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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
...for instruments other than the piano. What are some of your favorites? Being a huge Brahms nut, my two favorites are the Brahms Violin concerto and the Brahms Double concerto (violin and cello). I also love the Walton Viola concerto, Ibert Saxophone Concertino da Camera, and both of Haydn's cello concertos.
Loc: Michigan, USA
Well, since you stole my favorite (the Brahms), let me add the Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn violin concertos, and the Bach "Double" Violin concerto. I want the Largo from the Bach played at my you-know-what.
Malcolm Arnold's A Grand, Grand Overture for 3 vacuum cleaners, 1 floor polisher, 4 rifles and orchestra.
In other words, an octuple concerto. http://youtu.be/e5343nfOnkk (note that one of the vacuum cleaner players is Stephen Hough, and beside him is David Attenborough, who's also a consummate musician as well as naturalist/TV presenter).
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Wow, so many of my favorites already mentioned: Brahms violin, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn violin, Mozart Harp and clarinet, Bach double violin.
I'll add Vivaldi concerto for 4 violins, Saint Saens' Introduction and rondo Capriccioso and Havanaise. Oh, and Vaughn Williams oboe concerto. I've been hearing some of Bruch's violin concertos lately and like them very, very much.I'm sure there are many more but that is what comes to mind right now.
I once had the opportunity to play the piano part for Copland's Clarinet Concerto, and it's glorious - I really enjoyed it. The opening is so rich, and the second section is so jazzy and energetic.
I'm also a huge fan of a few violin concerti - the Sibelius, the Barber and the first Shostakovich. Maybe its not a serious concerto, but I performed the piano reduction for the Butterfly Lover's Violin Concerto with a friend, and we loved it.
_________________________ Working on: Beethoven - Piano Sonata op. 109 Brahms - 6 Klavierstucke op. 119 Rachmaninoff - Piano Sonata no.1
The Brahms violin concerto was the first classical music recording I bought for myself ever (it was an LP, can you imagine?). So yeah, that.
I am enamored of a lot of violin concertos - don't really know what that's all about, but sometimes I think I was born into the wrong environment and was really supposed to have been born into some violin-centric household instead of one with a piano.
Let's see - the two violin concertos by Prokofiev are desert island material for me; I love the Glazunov; the Britten is amazing (especially the ending); I love both by Szymanowski (the first is really an astonishing masterpiece); if I'm in the right mood the Sessions concerto really punches my buttons; I'm very fond of the one by Carl Nielsen even if it's kind of baggy and oddly shaped; the Sibelius - beyond words, musical shamanism; the John Adams concerto is wonderful - I still remember hearing the broadcast of the premiere and how I came totally unglued at the end; the first Ginastera violin concerto fascinates me - the second might also, but there don't seem to be any really first-rate recordings; the Barber concerto is one of his best pieces (listen to the Dene Olding recording if you can - as the cliche goes, it "takes it to a new level"); the Frank Martin concerto (also on that Olding recording) is another very fine concerto, in Martin's typically seething but very restrained idiom (which I love). Many more, but I'll stop the violin stuff for now.
I very much like the Ibert saxophone concertino you mentioned, as well as sax concertos from Glazunov and Tomasi, and especially one by Ingolf Dahl with band accompaniment. There's also a very popular (in the best sense) flute concerto by Ibert. And, sticking with the winds, very substantial concertos for flute and for clarinet by Nielsen.
Ginastera wrote a harp concerto that seems to be performed all over the world almost continually. In spite of that, I still like it. There's also a wonderful harp concerto by Tishchenko that really deserves more attention - I think fans of Shostakovich would love it. But it's very odd in that it requires a soprano voice in the orchestration, and that requirement alone may keep it from being better known.
Loc: South Carolina, USA
The Weber clarinet concerti are delightful. It goes to show what happens when a great composer befriends a great performer. As I understand it, Weber and the clarinetist in question were known for going on the early 19th century equivalent of bar crawls.
Of course, all of the violin concerti previously mentioned. The Mozart oboe concerto is lovely. The Strauss oboe concerto is special, but it's apparently extremely difficult. It has a fascinating back story. Look it up.
For real fun, the Schumann Concert Piece for Four Horns cannot be beat.
Bach Double Brahms Double Bruch Scottish Fantasy Bruch No. 1 Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet Conus! (How has this not gotten any mentions?) Dvorak Elgar Lalo Symphonie Espagnole (again, no mentions?) Mozart No. 4 Mozart No. 5 Prokofiev No. 2 Sibelius Viexutemps No. 5 Wieniawski No. 2
My absolute favorites, sort of a lengthy list, even though I did exclude many already (violinist here). If I were to write about each of these my post would probably be a couple pages long. In short, I exhort you listen to:
Though I love every concerto I listed; and I purposely left out the Mendelssohn, Tchaik, Beeth, Brahms, etc. for I felt it was unnecessary to list them. Here's a quote of the great Joseph Joachim telling about them, "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."
Oh how I would love for a "Sonatas" (nonpiano) thread *drool*
Edit: And if you have not listened to Mozart's Symphonie Concertante K. 364 please do. Perhaps my favorite composition of his, I have not the words to describe it, just take a chance to listen to what may be one of the greatest compositions ever manifested. Exaggeration? Please.
I'm also a sucker for all of the Hindemith Kammermusik Concertos
Glad you mentioned those - they are a treat. I need to dig out my old recording of the set.
Lars-Erik Larsson did 12 concertinos for various instruments that are seriously charming (I guess the one for piano has to get deleted for the purposes of this thread).
Also, there's a pretty wonderful clarinet concerto by Jean FranÃ§aix. And a very wild and entertaining one by Kimmo Hakola.
Has anyone mentioned the Stravinsky violin concerto yet? It's fantastic. Oh, and the one by Carlos Chavez is very good, I think. There's a beautiful one by Lou Harrison for violin and percussion ensemble - it's the sort of thing he did really well. Here's a link -
I've been listening to Kaija Saariaho's Clarinet Concerto "D'OM LE VRAI SENS" - the capitals are her own - which, like all Saariaho, is captivating, beautiful and weird by turns. The microtones in it contribute to the effect, but don't worry, her music isn't of the plink-plonk type .