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Ludwig van Beethoven » Violin Concerto » Dont, Jacob - Carl Schlesinger

Dont's edition differs from others in a number of respects. There are a few differences in the notes, at least one of which (b. 63 in the Larghetto) is surely a printing error, and Dont supplies the text with many additional dynamics. Like other editors he adds many slurs and other bowing indications that are absent from the sources. These differences are alluded to in a short preface (translated below), which claims direct authority from the early performances for some of them.

Several deviations from older editions will not escape the attentive player of this edition of Beethoven's Violin Concerto. On the basis of reliable tradition, Professor Jac[ob] Dont in Vienna is in a position to write down much of the generally accepted version which differs especially in the tone-shadings. His father, first cellist in the Imperial and Royal Court Opera in Beethoven's time, heard and accompanied the violin concerto, written for the then violin virtuoso Fr[anz] Clement, from the first performance on, very often, again also in Beethoven's presence. Solicitous for the education of his son, to whom he taught the violin at that time, he noted and marked very precisely the version wished for by Beethoven. What the young man learned then, the experienced teacher has now reproduced in the present edition with critical discrimination. All dynamic markings, fingering, and so forth, are however the independent contribution of the editor.

The significance of this Foreword is not easy to determine. It is unclear to what Dont’s expression ‘tone-shadings’ (Tonschattirungen) refers, especially in view of his final sentence. The main differences between Dont’s edition and the first edition, apart from the addition of extensive fingering, lie in changes to bowing, the addition of a few small, but rather odd alterations to the notes, as well as numerous alterations and additions to the dynamic markings. Although Dont introduced many more changes to the slurring and articulation of the original edition than Baillot, he remained much closer to it in respect of bowing than David. In the passage-work in which Clement was supposed to have used the ‘Paganini’ bowing (mvt. I, bb. 134–141 and 408–414), where Baillot retained the unslurred notes of the first edition, Dont, like Vieuxtemps, indicated varied bowing patterns and he also slurred other passages that were left without slurs in the first edition. But at mvt. I, bb.151–180/425–452 and 191–194/465–468, where David and Joachim added many slurs, he, like Vieuxtemps, was almost as sparing as Baillot in supplementing bowings. Another difference from David’s and Joachim’s approach that was shared by Dont and Vieuxtemps is the tendency to confine slurs within bar lines, while David and to a lesser extent Joachim liked to slur across bar lines. Copies of Dont’s and Vieuxtemps’ editions are rare, and they seem to have exerted little influence on the way the concerto was performed in the later nineteenth century. This probably owes much to the performing tradition disseminated through David’s widely distributed edition and the tremendous prestige of Joachim’s interpretation, which the editions suggest was strikingly similar to David’s.

[C.B.]

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Work Violin Concerto
Title Concerto
Publisher Carl Schlesinger
City Berlin
Date 1880 (September) [Source: Hofmeister - November 1880]
Publication Number 32
Instrumentation Solo Violin – 1 Violin
Partly Recomposed No

Parts

Part Plate No. Medium Annotations Musical Text(s)
Preface S.7367 Printed
Violin S.7367 Printed Printed