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Cat. No. CHAN 9784 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9784 - Bruch: Symphony No. 1 · Violin Concerto No. 3
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Available From: 20 January 2000
Bruch’s early fame, and for much of his life, rested on his choral music (several huge oratorios and many smaller choral works form a large part of his output). In the 1860s he tackled most musical forms with success. Following the triumphant First Violin Concerto in 1867 he produced his First Symphony a year later at the suggestion of the composer Herman Levi. Bruch dedicated it to Brahms whose response was one of ‘vivid joy and heartfelt thanks’. It was described by the critic Hermann Klein as ‘one of the best known symphonies of the period’. The symphony shows the influences of Schubert and Mendelssohn and is scored for the conventional symphony orchestra of the time, but with the emphasis on the horns, woodwinds and strings, the heavier brass and timpani being reserved for climaxes. Bruch’s Third Violin Concerto was written in 1891 when he was established in Berlin as Professor of Composition at the Music Academy at the invitation of its director Joachim. It is written in the classical mould, its opening a robust concertante movement, broad and heroic rather than lyrical. The slow movement is reminiscent of that of the famous First Concerto, a simple structure with the soloist developing the main theme and its expansive cantilena by figurations and variations against a background of subdued orchestral accompaniment. The finale, a conventional rondo, is dominated by its strongly rhythmic perpetuum mobile interspersed by lyrical passages often using double-stopping.

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