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Ludwig van Beethoven » Violin Concerto » Joachim, Joseph - Simrock

From vol. 3 of Joachim and Moser's Violinschule. With preface.

Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), widely regarded in his day as the 19th century’s greatest interpreter of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, may well have studied it under Joseph Boehm during his Vienna years, but he gave his earliest public performances of the work under Mendelssohn’s aegis in London in 1844, probably after working on it with Ferdinand David. Joachim was a notoriously reluctant editor, however, and only two years before his death in 1907, with the assistance of his former pupil and colleague Andreas Moser at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, did he finally publish an edition of the work. [See the article 'Joseph Joachim as editor' on this website.] In this edition, probably influenced by his connections with Philipp Spitta and by Moser, Joachim responded to the growing concern for textual fidelity in the second half of the nineteenth century and was more reticent in adding editorial bowing than David. Where he did suggest different phrasing (bowing) he often retained Beethoven’s original as an alternative, though he was by no means consistent in this. In the passage at bb. 151ff./425ff. (8 bb. after Letter F/L) in the first movement, for instance, he marked many additional slurs and only indicated Beethoven’s slurring as an alternative in b. 430. Comparison of Joachim’s markings in his 1905 Simrock edition with those in his pupil Heinrich Dessauer’s 1897 Schott edition, which claims to convey Joachim’s manner of performing the work, suggests, however, that the 1905 edition is an unreliable source for understanding how Joachim actually played the Violin Concerto. Dessauer’s edition indicates that, in practice, Joachim was considerably freer about modifying the bowing than the 1905 edition implies, but there are sufficient similarities between the bowing and fingering in the two editions to believe that they represent different manifestations of the same conception.

[C. B.]

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Work Violin Concerto
Title Concert
Publisher Simrock
City Berlin
Date 1905 [Source: Text]
Publication Number
Instrumentation Solo Violin – 1 Violin
Partly Recomposed No


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