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Jean Sibelius

Original Version of Sibelius Violin Concerto Premiered in 1904

Somewhat longer, and noticeably more demanding, Sibelius made substantial revisions to the work before re-premiering in its current form

The first performance of the original version of Jean Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D Minor was given by Finish violinist Victor Novacek to dismal reviews.

Sibelius withheld this version from publication and undertook substantial revisions on the concerto, removing elements he felt were unsatisfactory. The revised work premiered on 19 October, 1905 under the direction of Richard Strauss, who conducted the Berlin Court Orchestra.

The Sibelius family has granted occasional permission for a small number of orchestras and soloists to perform the original 1904 version in public. The first such documented authorisation was for a September 1990 performance by Manfred Grasbeck, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä. In January 1991, BIS made a commercial recording of the original 1904 version, with Leonidas Kavakos, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Vänskä. Subsequent performances of the 1904 version have been as follows:

  • 3 September 2015: Elina Vähälä (soloist), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hannu Lintu (conductor)
  • 28 November 2015: Maxim Vengerov (soloist), Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Carter (conductor)
  • 5 June 2016: Maxim Vengerov (soloist), Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Marios Papadopoulos (conductor) (The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, UK)
  • 6 June 2016: Maxim Vengerov(soloist), Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Marios Papadopoulos (conductor) (Barbican Centre, London)
  • 5 and 6 October 2016: Maxim Vengerov (soloist), Orchestre de Paris, Christoph Eschenbach (conductor).
  • 7 and 8 January 2022: Elina Vähälä (soloist), Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (conductor)
  • 30 and 31 March 2023: Elina Vähälä (soloist), Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (conductor)

In 2020, Robert Lienau Musikverlag produced the first published version of the original 1904 version of the Violin Concerto.

 

ELINA VÄHÄLÄ | SIBELIUS VIOLIN CONCERTO (ORIGINAL VERSION) | HANNU LINTU & THE FINNISH RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA | 2015

 

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