FAURÉ Gabriel, Violin Concerto

Fauré worked on a violin concerto in 1878–9, but the project was destined to remain unfinished. Though the first two movements were performed by the violinist Ovide Musin and the Colonne Orchestra on 12 April 1880, the finale was never written. The slow movement of the concerto was destroyed, but was probably reworked as the Andante for violin and piano Op.75. The first movement – lyrical and expansive – survived complete, and turned out to be a surprisingly fruitful source for the composer: Fauré’s biographer Robert Orledge noted that its two main themes ‘proved far better suited to the more intimate medium of the String Quartet’ when they were reused ‘in the light of a lifetime’s experience’ in his last work, written in 1923–4. 

 

© Nigel Simeone

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