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Ludwig van Beethoven » Violin Concerto » Vieuxtemps, Henri - Schuberth

Despite Vieuxtemps' reputation as one of the finest interpreters of Beethoven's Violin Concerto for more than thirty years after his remarkable first performance of it as a 13-year-old in Vienna in 1834, one year after Clement’s last known performance, copies of his edition are extremely rare in library collections. Vieuxtemps was was one of the few 19th-century editors to provide extensive dynamic and accent markings as well as bowing and fingering.

It is impossible to be certain whether his manner of playing the concerto changed substantially during the 35 years that had elapsed between his first performance of the work and his 1869 edition, but the edition is certainly independent of David’s and may perhaps convey aspects of genuine Viennese tradition. Vieuxtemps’ approach to bowing in particular differs from David’s. He tends to change bow more frequently, quite often indicating separate legato bowstrokes (frequently marked with horizontal lines) where Beethoven’s original text has long slurs, presumably to permit a stronger tone, and he indicates fewer additional bowings in the passagework than David, although considerably more than are shown in Baillot’s edition from 1828. His treatment of the passages beginning at mvt. I, bb. 218/492 is closer to Baillot’s and Dont’s than to David’s. Vieuxtemps’s fingering is broadly similar to Baillot’s and David’s with a liberal use of open strings and natural harmonics, together with ample opportunities for portamento. For the delicatamente statement of the Rondo theme he used the same fingering as David, perhaps supporting the supposition that this manner of performing it represents a Viennese tradition.

[C. B.]

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Work Violin Concerto
Title Concert
Publisher Schuberth
City Leipzig
Date 1869 (September) [Source: Hofmeister - 1869-09]
Publication Number 1566
Instrumentation Solo Violin – 1 Violin
Partly Recomposed No


Part Plate No. Medium Annotations Musical Text(s)
Title page 3986 Printed
Violin 3986 Printed Printed