Goldmark – Violin Concerto in A-Minor

by Max Derrickson

Karl Goldmark   (Born Keszthely, May 18, 1830; diedVienna, January 2, 1915)

Violin Concerto in A-Minor, Op. 28

Austrio-Hungarian composer Karl Goldmark was one of 20 children who in his autobiography claimed to have taught himself to read, write and compose.  His long career as violinist and composer brought him into the collegiality of many famous musicians, including Brahms and Mahler.  His best-known works are the opera Queen of Sheba and for orchestra the Rustic Wedding Symphony.   His Concerto No. 1 for Violin is curiously unreferenced in his life’s story, but generally known to have been written around 1873-4, and was premiered inVienna in 1878.  Critic Eduard Hanslick superciliously remarked that the concerto was “one of those works which arouses more respect than pleasure,” but in truth, Goldmark’s concerto is an unexpected amalgam of the Romantic lushness of Brahms, the lightness of Mendelssohn, and the breadth and boom of Bruckner (all of whom were alive during his lifetime).


You will probably recognize instantly the opening solo violin theme with its wonderful tunefulness.  [. . .]