Monday, October 1, 2012

Naxos 19th Century Violinist Composers Series

"With flushed face, raised shoulders, and groans of delight Brahms belabored the keyboard while accompanying me and was happy that 'such a thing existed in this world." - Joseph Joachim: Ein lebensbild

"Brahms was talking about one of the seminal violin works of the 19th century, and it wasn't Beethoven's magisterial violin Concerto, nor was it Mendelssohn's marvelous light and airy essay in the same genre. Nor was it the great Kreutzer Sonata or the concertos of Saint-Saens. Brahms groaned with delight over the great 22nd violin concerto of Giovanni Battista Viotti, one of the true masters of the violin and the master who opened the door to a flood of great music little remembered today. Rode, Baillot, Kreutzer, Dancla, Alard, Spohr, Beriot, David, Mazas, Godard, Vieuxtemps and many more composers solidified the technique of modern violin-playing at the same time creating a body of music that is truly a buried treasure - now brought to the light of day and made part of our recorded legacy by Naxos. While the concerto form led the way, these composers wrote in a variety of forms: paraphrases of opera tunes, tone-poem descriptions of exotic travel , airs varie based on popular tunes, chamber music, and especially (many were pedagogues) etudes, caprices, and numerous 'violin schools.' This series on 19th century violin music provides a window onto this vast repertoire, mostly written by practitioners of the instrument, and all of it delightful listening." -

Get this collection in one Spotify playlist: Naxos - 19th Century Violinist Composers (337 tracks, 30 albums, total time: 34 hours). Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album view. I included a Naxos disk of Viotti's violin works, though it's not part of the series. See Naxos for list of albums in this series and liner notes, and Presto for album overviews.


  1. Great fun to discover so much hitherto unknown music for the violin.

    Note the glitch in the playlist it jumps back to the first track following the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 7.