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Original Violin Concerto Score

I was wondering if you knew what version of the Violin Concerto is the one Tchaikovsky originally wrote? I read recently that the concerto was altered by Auer so naturally there are two sets of recordings out there and I want to finally establish for myself (and hopefully others) which one was written by Tchaikovsky himself.

Two places where there are the greatest differences, and probably hold the clue, are in the third movement: firstly, after the initial opening there is a short cadenza-like passage in the violin. Around sixteen bars after this, there is a four-bar sequence with the strings that is repeated three times before the wind enter. Some recordings that I have choose to add this in, others omit.

Another place is in the final cadenza passage (about seven minutes in or so), just before the re-entry of the main tune. In the recordings that have the above passage included, the violin plays the repeating four semiquaver figure on the G string. On the other recording, the solo violin tends to do a virtuostic display and adds in a few bars that run up and down the strings before the tune enters.

My initial-Tchaikovsky-gut-feeling (!) is that the editions that cut the passage at the beginning in the third movement (and add the virtuostic display later on) are the Auer version, and those that choose to include them are the original—though, I was hoping you might be able to confirm this!

Thomas A. Doyle

Your "gut feeling" is correct!

Brett Langston

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013