General information
Title CZKoncert pro housle a orchestr č. 2
Title ENConcerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2
Title DEKonzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2
SubcategoryViolin Concertos
Halbreich number293
Parts of the composition (movements)1. Andante - Poco Allegro - Moderato; 2. Andante moderato; 3. Poco allegro
Solo voiceVl
Dedicatee Elman, Mischa
Diplomatic transcription of the dedicationTo Mischa Elman
Place of compositionNew York
Year of origin1943
Initiation of composition23.02.1943
Completion of composition26.04.1943
First performance
Performer Mischa Elman (Vl), Sergey Alexandrovich Koussevitzky (dir./cond.)
Elman, Mischa
Kusevickij, Sergej Aleksandrovič
Date of the first performance1943-12-31
Location of the first performanceBoston (USA)
Ensemble Boston Symphony Orchestra
Autograph deposition
InstitutionBohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička
Deposition locationPolička
OwnerBohuslav Martinů Foundation, Prague
Note on the autograph depostitionOther sources located at the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička: fragment of parts by foreign hand (deposit of the BM Foundation), piano reduction by hand of Karel Šolc, reproduction of the autograph score and reproduction of the autograph solo part (property of BM Centre). *** Reproduction of the autograph solo part and reproduction of the autograph piano reduction are held by a private owner in Lamstedt, Germany. *** Draft located at the Czech Museum of Music in Prague.
CopyrightBärenreiter Praha
Purchase linkbuy
Supraphon, Prague, 1985
Call number at the BM Institute: 1025 KV
Specification of the edition: 3rd edition
Details of this edition
Melantrich, Prague, 1948
Call number at the BM Institute: 1025 PPR
Specification of the edition: 1st edition; piano reduction + violin part
Details of this edition
Bärenreiter Praha, Prague, 2016
Call number at the BM Institute: 1025 PPRa,b
Specification of the edition: Re-edice
Details of this edition
Melantrich, Prague, 1949
Call number at the BM Institute: 1025a
Specification of the edition: 1st edition
Details of this edition
References Related correspondence
Documents in the Library
Note Tempo marking of the second movement in the autograph score: Larghetto. *** Melantrich published the score (1949) and piano reduction (rev. Karel Šolc, 1948).
About the composition

In January 1943 the famous violinist Mischa Elman heard Martinů's First Symphony , H 289, in a performance by the Boston Symphony in New York, and this experience led him to commission a new work from Martini for his repertoire. At his meeting with Elman the composer asked him to play several samples from his repertoire, because he had never heard  before and didn't know the specifics of his playing. While Elman played he listened quietly, made no comments, and according to the violinist's recollection looked almost as though he were mentally somewhere else. Then he thanked him and left without any particular reaction. Elman assumed he had hit upon an eccentric and regarded the matter as lost Two months later, however, he was able to enjoy a finished work in which to his surprise he found many elements characteristic of his manner of playing. At the violinist's request Martino added a cadenza in the first movement.

For the premiere of the concerto Martinů wrote a short commentary in which among other things he said: "The idea for this concerto presented itself to me with the following order: Andante, a broad lyric song of great intensity which leads to an Allegro exploiting the technique and the virtuosity of the instrument, and has the aspect of a single-movement composition. The definitive form complies with concerto structure. I have preserved its grave character, lyric in the first part [Andante]; and even in the middle Allegro the Andante theme returns to end the movement. The second part is a sort of point of rest, a bridge progressing towards the Allegro finale. It is an Intermezzo Moderato, almost bucolic, accompanied by only a part of the orchestra and progressing attacca into the finale, which is Allegro. This favors the technique ofthe violin, which is interrupted by broad and 'tutti' passages. The concerto ends with a sort of 'stretto', Allegro vivo. [...] As with all compositions for solo instrument, the solo violin requires a quite special 'state of mind'. [...] All which we to express in the solo violin part must be contained in a single line, which must also imply the rest. To put it differently, the single part of the violin solo must in itself already contain the whole musical scheme, the whole concerto."

The successful premiere of the work on the last day of 1943 was a significant step for Elman in his return to a leading position among violinists of the world.

Aleš Březina, Bohuslav Martinů: Selected Masterpieces, © 2001 Supraphon Music a.s

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