Secret violin concertos

Every classical music fan knows the great violin concertos – Mendelssohn, Bruch, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms, and so on. But here are ten lesser-known concertos (or individual movements) which deserve more attention.



Kabalevsky, second movement of Violin Concerto in C major, op. 48 (1948).

Achingly beautiful. I could die to this music. And I do, a little bit, whenever I hear it.


SS HoelschSaint-Saens, Violin Concerto no. 1 in A major, op. 20 (1859).

Astonishingly condensed, utterly lovely. One of my favourite pieces of music.




Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in D minor (1822).

Not the famous Mendelssohn concerto: this is the first one he wrote, aged 13. Yes, 13. (When I was 13, I could just about pronounce my own name; Mendelssohn could write this.)


ValE415Valentini, Concerto for Four Violins in A minor, op. 7 no. 11 (1710).

Lush baroque gorgeousness. A four-violin, seven-movement spectacular – the seventh movement is particularly spectacular.


Rodrigo, first movement of Concierto de Estio for violin (1944).RodOvru

Wow. Just … wow.


ShawThomas Shaw, second movement of Violin Concerto in G major (c. 1785).

I hate listening to this by myself: it’s the kind of thing I want to share with someone special.


Korngold, last movement of Violin Concerto in D, op. 35 (1945).KornEHnes

A romp.


ReiVCReinecke, last movement of Violin Concerto in G minor, op. 141 (1876).

How this isn’t a classic I do not know.


Khatch Kuchar 2


Khachaturian, last movement of Violin Concerto in D minor (1940).



GlaFisch2Glazunov, Violin Concerto in A minor op. 82 (1904).

The epitome of the Romantic violin concerto.