Beginning with Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, then Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and finally the amazing Piano Concerto by Edvard Grieg. Presented by Gippsland’s own Community Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro David Williams.
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, composed by Edvard Grieg in 1868, was the only concerto Grieg completed. It is one of his most popular works and is among the most popular of all piano concerti. The work is among Grieg’s earliest important works, and is often compared to the Piano Concerto of Robert Schumann. Grieg’s concerto provides evidence of his interest in Norwegian folk music; the opening flourish is based on the motif of a falling minor second followed by a falling major third, which is typical of the folk music of Grieg’s native country. This specific motif occurs in other works by Grieg, including the String Quartet No. 1. In the last movement of the concerto, similarities to the halling; a Norwegian folk dance and imitations of the Hardanger fiddle; a Norwegian folk fiddle may be found. The work was premiered by Edmund Neupert on April 3, 1869 in Copenhagen, with Holger Simon Paulli conducting.
Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622, was written in October 1791 for the clarinettist Anton Stadler. It consists of three movements, in a fast–slow–fast succession typical of the classical era; Allegro, Adagio and Rondo. Originally written for Anton Stadler to play on the basset horn however Mozart was pursueded that the clarinet was a more effective instruement for the composition. There are several notes that go beyond the conventional range of the clarinet, perhaps hinting that Mozart actually intended it to be performed on the basset clarinet. This instrument had a low range down to low C extending the lower range beyond the E that standard clarinets do. The basset clarinet was a rare, custom-made instrument, so when the piece was published posthumously, a new version was arranged with the low notes transposed to regular range.
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, is his last large orchestral work. It holds an important place in the violin repertoire and is one of the most popular and most frequently performed violin concertos in history. Conceived in 1838, the work took another six years to complete and premiered in 1845. The work is one of the foremost violin concertos of the Romantic era and has had a significant influence on many composers. Although the concerto consists of three movements in a standard fast–slow–fast structure and each movement follows a traditional form, the concerto was innovative and included many novel features for its time. Distinctive aspects include the almost immediate entrance of the violin at the beginning of the work, and the through-composed form of the concerto as a whole, in which the three movements are melodically and harmonically connected and played attacca which means each movement immediately following the previous one without any pauses
The concerto remains popular to this day and has developed a reputation as an essential concerto for violinists to master.