Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto op. 64, is a key work of the 19th century, adhering to the classical style of Beethoven while pointing the way to the romantic ethos of Brahms. It has long been known that Mendelssohn performed the work with three soloists in succession: Ferdinand David, who worked closely with the composer during its composition and played it at the première; the ‘child prodigy’ Joseph Joachim; and Hubert Léonard, a young Belgian virtuoso about whom little is known.
As proof sheets for the Violin Concerto in E minor were long considered lost, it could be described as somewhat of a sensation when proofs for the solo violin part resurfaced together with a letter from Mendelssohn to Léonard.
The letter informs us that the composer invited Léonard to his home in Frankfurt in order to make his acquaintance. It was already known that Mendelssohn had given proof sheets to David; now we know that he also gave some to Léonard.
The recently discovered proofs reveal how Léonard played the concerto with Mendelssohn on that memorable evening in February 1845. That the young violinist made a positive impression on the composer is confirmed in the latter’s correspondence following their joint performance.
The editor of this revised edition of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Clive Brown, is an acknowledged expert on Romantic performance practice.
This study score complements the full score and orchestral parts (BA 9099), the piano reduction of the 1844 version (BA 9099-92), the piano reduction of the 1845 version (BA 9099-90), as well as the brochure „Performance Practices in the Violin Concerto op. 64 and Chamber Music for Strings of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“ (BA 9060).