Commissioned in 1935 by American violinist Louis Krasner, Alban Berg's Violin Concerto was completed the same year. Berg set to work on the concerto by creating his own tone rows, as well as studying violin concertos by contemporaries like Glazunov and Szymanowski, and revisiting Bach chorales, which would play a vital role in the concerto. While Berg was working on these early sketches for the concerto, he received news of the tragic death of Manon Gropius, daughter of Alma Mahler-Werfel (formerly married to Gustav Mahler, and a friend of the Bergs). As Manon was only 18 at the time, her death came as quite a shock. Whether her death directly influenced the structure of the concerto is questionable, since Berg had already done much of the groundwork; however, from that time on, the concerto was dedicated "to the memory of an angel." The Violin Concerto is a remarkably Romantic work for Berg, most often known for his more jarring experimental works, but it is unmistakably modern on the whole.
This edition for violin with piano reduction has been edited by Douglas Jarman. Published by Universal Edition.
Difficulty: ASTA grade 6
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