Violin Concerto (Dvořák)

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Violin Concerto
by Antonín Dvořák
Dvorak in 1882
KeyA minor
Composed1879 (1879)
ScoringViolin and orchestra
Date1883 (1883)

The Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 (B. 96 / B. 108), is a concerto for violin and orchestra composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1879. It was premiered in Prague on October 14, 1883.[1] by František Ondříček,[2][3][4] who also gave the Vienna and London premieres. Today it remains an important work in the violin repertoire.[5]


The concerto is scored for solo violin and an orchestra consisting of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (in A), 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings.[6][7]


The structure of the concerto is the classical three movements, fast–slow–fast.

  1. Allegro ma non troppo (A minor)
  2. Adagio ma non troppo (F major)
  3. Finale: Allegro giocoso ma non troppo (A major)

The first movement and the second movement are interconnected (attacca subito).[7]


First page of autograph manuscript

Dvořák was inspired to write the concerto after meeting Joseph Joachim in 1878, and composed the work with the intention of dedicating it to him. However, when he finished the concerto in 1879, Joachim became skeptical about it. Joachim was a strict classicist and objected, inter alia, to Dvořák's abrupt truncation of the first movement's orchestral tutti. Joachim also didn't like the fact that the recapitulation was cut short and that it led directly to the slow second movement. It is also assumed that he was upset with the persistent repetition found in the third movement. However, Joachim never said anything outright and instead claimed to be editing the solo part. He never actually performed the piece in public.[3][4][5]

The concerto was first performed in the United States on October 30, 1891, at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. Max Bendix was soloist with the Chicago Orchestra led by Theodore Thomas.[8]

Selected recordings[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Concerto For Violin And Orchestra Antonín Dvořák
  2. ^ Stowell, Robin (1992). The Cambridge companion to the violin. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139002097. OCLC 758544625.
  3. ^ a b Predota, Georg (2018). "Dvořák: Violin Concerto. Premiered Today in 1883". Interlude ( Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b The Violin Channel (2020). "Dvořák Violin Concerto Premiered On This Day in 1883". The Violin Channel ( Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Peter H. (2022). "Dvořák's Violin Concerto Reconsidered: Joachim's Influence, Bruch's Model and Romantic Innovations in Sonata Practice". Music Analysis. 41. Wiley Online Library ( 3–49. doi:10.1111/musa.12181. S2CID 249840624. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  6. ^ Dvořák, Antonín (1883). Concert für Violine mit Begleitung des Orchesters von Anton Dvořák (PDF). N. Simrock. p. 1. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  7. ^ a b Meltzer, Ken (2020). "Violin Concerto in A minor, Opus 53". FW Symphony ( Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  8. ^ Villella, Frank (2021). "125 Moments: 061 Dvořák's Violin Concerto". Experience ( Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  9. ^ "Discography". Augustin Hadelich Violinist. Pilvax. Retrieved 25 November 2023.