Franz von Vecsey

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Franz von Vecsey
Vecsey (mid 1920s)
Background information
Birth name Ferenc Vecsey
Also known as Ferenc de Vecsey
Born (1893-03-23)23 March 1893
Budapest, Hungary
Died 5 April 1935(1935-04-05) (aged 42)
Rome, Italy
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Violinist
Instruments Violin
Years active 1903–1935
Notable instruments
the 1716 "Berthier, Franz von Vecsey" Stradivarius

Franz von Vecsey (Hungarian: Vecsey Ferenc, 23 March 1893 – 5 April 1935) was a Hungarian violinist and composer, who became a well-known virtuoso in Europe through the early 20th century.

He was born in Budapest[1] and began his violin studies with his father, Lajos Vecsey, and at the age of eight he entered the studio of Jenő Hubay. Two years later, aged ten, he played for Joseph Joachim in Berlin (making his début at "Beethoven Halle" on 17 May 1903) and subsequently became known as a stellar child prodigy virtuoso.

Joseph Joachim and the young Franz von Vecsey (c.1905)

He became one of the pre-eminent violinists in Europe in the 1910s and 1920s, at one point touring with Béla Bartók as his piano accompanist. Aged only 12, he became the re-dedicatee of Jean Sibelius's Violin Concerto in D minor in 1905, after the original dedicatee, Willy Burmester, refused to play the work after he was unable to appear at the premiere of the revised version and it was premiered by Karel Halíř instead. Vecsey championed the Sibelius concerto, first performing at when he was only 13.[2] He was also the dedicatee of Hubay's Violin Concerto No.3.[3] He also spent time composing, and wrote a number of virtuosic salon pieces for the violin.

From 1926 till his untimely death, he lived with his wife in Venice at "Palazzo Giustinian de' Vescovi" on Canal Grande. His career steadily faltered after the First World War, as he grew tired of constant touring and wanted to concentrate more on conducting. By the 1930s, he was about to embark on that dream, but it suddenly curtailed when in 1935, he became seriously ill with a pulmonary embolism that grew through much of his life. He sought medical care in Rome. The operation was unsuccessful, and Vecsey succumbed to the disease at the age of 42.[1]

Selected compositions[edit]

Violin solo

  • Preludio e Fuga in C minor (1914); dedicated to Jenő Hubay

Violin and piano

  • La Campanella (1934); transcription based on the Rondo from Violin Concerto No. 2 by Niccolò Paganini
  • Caprice in F major (1913)
  • Caprice fantastique (1933)
  • Caprice No. 1 "Le Vent" in A minor (1916)
  • Caprice No. 2 "Cascade" in F major (1916)
  • Caprice No. 3 "Valse macabre"
  • Caprice No. 4 "Badinage"
  • Caprice No. 5 "La Lune glisse à travers les nuages" (1917)
  • Caprice No. 6 "Octaves dansantes"
  • Caprice No. 7 "Claire de lune"
  • Caprice No. 8 "Feu d'étincelles"
  • Caprice No. 9 "Reflets dans l'eau"
  • Caprice No. 10 "Pensée fantastique"
  • Le Chagrin de Pierrot
  • Chanson nostalgique (1933)
  • Chanson triste (1913)
  • Conte passionné in G major (1913)
  • Fantaisies (1921)
No. 1 – Devant un tombeau
  • Mariä Wiegenlied (1934); transcription of Max Reger's Op. 76, No. 52
  • 3 Morceaux (1912)
No. 1 – Rêve (A minor)
No. 2 – Humoresque (E minor)
No. 3 – Menuetto (E major)
  • Motus Barbarus
  • Plainte nostalgique
  • Preghiera in G minor (1924)
  • Préludes (1921); Nos. 3~5 also for 2 violins and piano
No. 1 – À toi
No. 2 – Nuit du Nord
No. 3 – Badinage impertinant
No. 4 – Claire de lune sur le Bosphore
No. 5 – Pourquoi ...
No. 6 – Nostalgie
No. 7 – Rêverie
No. 8 – Pensée triste
  • Souvenir (1913)
  • Valse lente (1933)
  • Valse triste in C minor (1913)


  1. ^ a b Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th edition
  2. ^ Andrew Barnett (2007). Sibelius. Yale University Press. p. 172. 
  3. ^ IMSPL - Violin Concerto No.3, Op.99 (Hubay, Jenö)

External links[edit]