Violin Concerto (Khachaturian)

Violin Concerto (Khachaturian)

Aram Khachaturian's Violin Concerto in D minor was completed in 1940 and dedicated to the great Russian violinst David Oistrakh, who premièred the concerto in Moscow on November 16, 1940. Oistrakh advised Khachaturian on the composition of the solo part and also wrote his own cadenza that markedly differs from the one originally composed by Khachaturian. The concerto was initially well received and awarded the Lenin Prize for arts in 1941. Today, the work maintains its popularity, becoming a staple of the twentieth century violin repertoire. [David Oistrakh - Discussions with Igor Oistrakh by V. Yuzefovitch Moscow, USSR 1977]


The work is scored for solo violin and a standard classical orchestra consisting of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings.


The concerto consists of three movements with the following tempo markings:

# Allegro con fermezza
# Andante sostenuto
# Allegro vivace

Allegro con fermezza

As with most concertos, the first movement is in sonata form and begins with a brief orchestral introduction, followed by the entrance of the soloist with the initial theme. The solo violin then introduces the lyrical second theme, marked "espressivo", with responses from the woodwinds. A brief cadenza precedes the development section, which prominently features the soloist in several virtuoso passages. A second longer cadenza begins with a quiet duet between the solo violin and clarinet, but soon becomes more animated. The recapitulation of the principal themes leads to a brief coda, based upon the motif of the initial theme.

Andante sostenuto

After an introduction featuring the bassoon and clarinet, the soloist enters with the movement's principal melody. The movement is notable for its variety of moods and the wide-ranging, highly expressive writing for the soloist. Toward the close, the soloist repeats the principal melody, but now played an octave lower, and with a "'dolce" clarinet obbligato. After a dramatic orchestral outburst, the movement reaches its conclusion, as the violin's final sustained notes are supported by the horn and muted upper strings, along with descending passages in the flute, bassoon, harp and pizzicato lower strings.

Allegro vivace

A lively orchestral fanfare sets the stage for the soloist's introduction of the central theme of the finale, which is based on the second theme from the first movement. The movement is in rondo form but is heavily influenced by Armenian folk music and is reminiscent of a country dance.


External links

* [ Programme notes from the Dayton Philharmonic]

Notable Recordings

*1954 (mono recording) David Oistrakh (violin) Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Aram Khachaturian
* [,+Khachaturian,+Kabalevsky+-+Violin+Concertos hear David Oistrakh play Khachaturian]
*Khachaturian: Violin ConcertoAram Khachaturian (Composer), Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (Composer), Zubin Mehta (Conductor), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (Orchestra), Itzhak Perlman (Performer)
*Khachaturian: Violin ConcertoAram Khachaturian (Composer), Leonid Kogan (Soloist), Pierre Monteux (Conductor), Boston Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra) RCA Victor
* [ Kogan/Khachaturian on YouTube]


* David Oistrakh - Discussions with Igor Oistrakh by V. Yuzefovitch Moscow, USSR 1977
*Leonid Kogan - Reflections, Letters, Interviews Moscow, USSR 1987
* [ Russian Culture Navigator]

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