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Instrumentation : violin and orchestra
Date of Composition: 1853
Duration : 27'
‘You were often on my mind when I was writing’, wrote Robert Schumann to
Joseph Joachim who had encouraged him to write this concerto. In view of
Schumann’s illness, however, Joachim began to have his doubts about the value of the work. In his will, Joachim prohibited the ﬁrst performance until the 100th anniversary of Schumann’s death in 1956. After detailed editorial work, the premiere was brought forward to 1937.
The theme of the middle movement probably formed the basis of Schumann’s Geistervariationen (‘Ghost Variations’), the character of the third movement is that of a grand polonaise. Yehudi Menuhin who performed the world premiere of the unedited version of Schumann’s solo part saw in this piece ‘the bridge between Beethoven’s and Brahms’ concertos’.